Front Range residents fear coyote attacks
ERIE, Colorado ” After coyotes killed two dogs and injured a woman here, some residents believe the animals are losing their fear of people, making it tougher to keep them at bay.
A man whose wife was bitten said the attack Sunday in a backyard is the latest of several reported in Erie over the last few months ” and the first that injured a person.
“These coyotes are getting too domesticated,” said John Shattuck, whose wife, Janice, was bitten on the hand by a coyote. “They’re so comfortable out there, they’ll do what they want.”
Janice Shattuck is undergoing a series of rabies shots.
Shattuck said the coyote that attacked his wife was one of four that showed up in the couple’s fenced-in backyard in this growing suburb near Boulder. He said it stood its ground with the couple’s 3-year-old Maltese, Lola, hanging from its mouth as Janice Shattuck came out to scare it away.
Shattuck said the coyote lunged at his wife and bit her after she grabbed the dog from it.
The Maltese, along with a Jack Russell terrier and Shih Tzu mix, both of which were in the Shattucks’ yard, were badly injured in the attack and were euthanized on Christmas Eve.
“Do you think you can co-habitate with wild animals when you have pets? I don’t think so,” Shattuck said. “I’d like to see the coyotes go away.”
Jennifer Churchill, a spokeswoman with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, said the division had the option to trap the coyotes because someone was injured in the attack.
“There is a certain amount of risk you have to take living near coyotes,” Churchill said. “On the other hand, public safety is the No. 1 consideration. We don’t want people to have aggressive coyotes frequenting their neighborhood.”
The Division of Wildlife advises people to keep their distance if they see a coyote, throw rocks or sticks at it and make loud noises to frighten it away. Wildlife officials say people should keep their pets on leashes and not allow them to roam, especially at night.