- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—When a Quakertown woman faced a pack of coyotes in South Jersey, things got ugly.

The woman, hiking in the hinterlands of an Ocean County township Monday night, climbed and hid in a tree for five hours after feeling threatened by a pack of the wolf-like creatures, according to Capt. Todd Malland, of the Manchester Police Department.

A Manchester resident, who went outside to smoke a cigarette, phoned police around 3 a.m. Tuesday after hearing a woman’s yells for help.

Three officers, local volunteer firefighters and sheriff’s bloodhounds traced the woman’s voice into a heavily wooded area near the America’s Keswick rehabilitation clinic in the township’s Whiting section.

After more than a 30-minute search, the woman, identified as 28-year-old April Lewis, was found strapped to a tree about 15-feet off of the ground.

Lewis, who told police she was vacationing at the Keswick, decided to take an evening stroll around 10 p.m. Monday, leaving her cell phone behind.

While walking, she told police, she encountered several coyotes. Startled, she climbed a nearby tree for safety, tearing off a piece of her pant leg and tying herself to the tree.

Citing weak legs, police helped her out of the tree.

The township is located in the pinelands, Mallard said, so citings of exotic animals are not new. And plenty of people get lost in the woods, mostly during the day but sometimes at night, and of course, some take walks hoping they won’t be found.

“But this is a litte bit abnormal,” Malland said. “I don’t know if there’s more to the story, or not.”

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Topics: t000036956,t000041199,t000041115,t000041085

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