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Coyote Attacks

Coyote Attacks

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By: Chelsea Priest
cpriest@abc6.com

"I kept screaming, 'Give me my dog, let the dog go." 85-year old Majory Cristiani looked on helpless as a coyote jumped her four-foot fence, snatched, and killed her beloved chihuahua 'Cheech' in Quincy this week. 

She goes on, "the poor little thing. I just can't get it out of my mind. To stand on the stairs and see that animal taking my dog."

The brazen animal was likely in search of food for it's pup. Spring is typically the birthing season for coyotes. But it's happening more and more frequently, these animals are being found and attacking in well populated areas, without much fear of humans.

Dr. Numi Mitchell, Lead scientist of the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study explains, "The main problem that our research has shown over the last almost 10 years now, is that food provided by people, basically "easy-pickings" is what causes all the coyote problems." She's been studying the population of coyotes on Aquidneck Island and surrounding communities, trying to figure out the behavior of these animals. What she has found is that the food supply, be it pet food left outside, or even people actually feeding the coyotes by hand is a huge problem. She goes on, "it's certainly very dangerous for small pets because the coyotes don't differentiate between the food you put out for pets and pets themselves."

But regardless of the reason the coyote was there, Marjory still can't believe what happened to Cheech. She says, "like a defiant person, he was, he looked at me with those cold eyes, jumped back over the fence, and he was gone. 

Dr. Mitchell says education about the species is key and is part of a new website www.CoyoteSmarts.org which will launch officially on May 6th. She says if you come in contact with an aggressive animal, it's best to call your local police department. 

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