Coyote Attacks In Rock Island Neighborhood - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Coyote Attacks In Rock Island Neighborhood

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A Rock Island neighborhood is on alert after several coyote attacks have been reported in the area.

Neighbors living near the Blackhawk Forest Preserve say they've seen three attacks in the last two weeks, leaving at least two dogs severely injured.

 

They say the area is no stranger to coyotes, but this is the first time they've attacked.

"It's very unusual, we've lived here a long time, we've seen a couple in the state park here over the years, but they're never ever close to our house or in our yard, never an attack," Resident Greg Swanson says.

Never an attack until now. At least two dogs, including the Swansons' lab, Abby, were attacked by coyotes living nearby.

"She had a number of puncture wounds, which required veterinary service," Swanson says of his dog.

Abby's been able to make a full recovery, but her owners have been weary of letting their dogs out ever since.

"If it would've been our terrier with that incident, we wouldn't have her anymore," Swanson says.

He says he's also worried the wild animals could do a lot more damage next time, especially with kids living nearby.

"We're very concerned, certainly don't want one of these young kids injured or worse," he says.

Wildlife experts say attacks aren't unusual for this time of year.

"Coyotes become way more aggressive this time of year because they've just had their pups, they're very protective of those and very territorial," Bill Christman of Christman's Wildlife Services says.

Christman has been trapping wild animals like this for over 25 years. He says over the last decade, his calls for this problem have increased from one or two a year to almost 30.

"They have found that feeding in the cities is a lot easier for them because they've come to find that small dogs and cats are one of their favorite food sources now," he says.

To stay safe, Christman recommends staying away, letting the experts take care of the problem, and keeping a close eye on pets and small children.

"Coyotes are opportunists, and they don't necessarily look at a child as a child, they just look at it as an object, whether they can take it or not," he says.

Wildlife experts say people who live near wooded areas and ravines especially need to be on the lookout, that's where coyotes are usually spotted. They stress that these animals really need to be taken care of by people who are trained to do this.

If you see one, don't approach it, back away slowly, and call local authorities to take care of it.