Coyotes, wolves, and black bears are fantasy animals to many Americans, particularly those out of touch with the outdoors. The fact that these predators kill other animals is just part of “nature taking its course” and of little concern to many, until the big bad coyote comes knocking on their door and begins killing Fido and Fluffy.
In this case, there’s even an expressed concern for children. Here’s a rundown of one Ohio town’s experience with these roaming predators, as reported by Frank Lewis in The Portsmouth Daily Times.
In recent weeks reports of bear sightings have become frequent in Scioto County. Now there’s a chance we might have to be on the lookout for wild coyotes. Wild dogs reported to have been roaming the streets of New Boston may not be dogs at all and may be coyotes instead. The Daily Times contacted Village Administrator Steve Hamilton about reports that wild dogs may have been attacking other dogs at night, and while Hamilton said he had not heard about wild dogs, he has been dealing with a coyote issue.
“Usually I get called out on dogs running wild and things like that,” Hamilton said. “I’ve had a couple over here that I’m taking care of on Ohio Avenue, but we’ve got coyotes that are coming over from the river and I’m taking care of that right now. I’ve got some people trapping.” Hamilton said he hasn’t been out looking at the problem lately, but he also hasn’t been called about a problem dealing with wild dogs.
“I know we had some cats attacked over by (Dr. David) Hanzel’s, but I think what that is. That’s Coyotes,” Hamilton said. “We’ve had coyotes getting close to the apartments there, but there haven’t been any children attacked or anything like that. There haven’t been any dogs attacked that I’ve heard of, but there have been some cats attacked.” Due to their small size, coyote attacks tend to be a greater threat to children than they are to adults. While their bushy hair can make them look quite large, they rarely weigh more than thirty-five pounds. Also, unlike some other canids, such as grey wolves, they are relatively less apt to hunt in packs large enough to take down a full-grown adult human being.
It’s worth noting that coyotes in the Mid-Atlantic states can reach 50 pounds and frequently hunt in packs.
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Photo: QDMA (top)