Coyotes Cause Concern in Henderson Neighborhood - 8 News NOW

Coyotes Cause Concern in Henderson Neighborhood

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This photo taken last fall shows five coyotes hanging out at a golf course in MacDonald Ranch. This photo taken last fall shows five coyotes hanging out at a golf course in MacDonald Ranch.
Jazzy was attacked and eaten by a coyote. Jazzy was attacked and eaten by a coyote.

HENDERSON, Nev. -- Some Henderson residents say they are living in fear after a recent string of confrontations with coyotes. In one case, a woman's small dog was snatched by a coyote as she walked the pet.

Since October, residents in the MacDonald Ranch community near the 215 and Stephanie Street say they have been dealing with aggressive coyotes. Someone shared a picture they took last fall of five coyotes sunning themselves on a golf course.

"I've seen coyotes, but I never thought this would happen to me," said Rachel Lundman, who lost her dog to a coyote.

She was walking her dog Jazzy last month, in the middle of the afternoon, when the coyote attacked.

"The last thing I remember is turning around and seeing my dog scooped up in a coyote's mouth and it starting to run off," she said.

Lundman says she ran after the coyote, but it was the last time she saw her dog alive. A short while later, she found her dog's remains.

"Nevada wildlife or some other agency here, hopefully can help this from occurring to another pet, but even more so, maybe even a toddler or an infant," she said.

"Yes they will eat a small dog, and they will eat a cat," said Doug Nielson, Nevada Department of Wildlife.

He says coyotes prey on small animals, including pets, but attacks on humans are incredibly rare. There have only been two reported bites in Clark County in the past 20 years.

"The coyote is not going to go away. Some people feel if we were to sweep in and kill or remove hundreds of these coyotes in the desert southwest, that all of a sudden we wouldn't see them anymore," Nielson said.

He says the department will only respond to a situation if there is a serious public safety threat presented by a coyote. For example, an animal that isn't backing down.

"People need to understand, if we respond, to a situation like that, it's a bonafide public safety threat, and we remove that coyote, it will be euthanized. We do not move rabies vector species from one area to another."

People living in MacDonald Ranch have taken matters into their own hands. They've formed a task force and no longer walk alone.

"Now, we go in groups. We partner up and we no longer walk early mornings or late in the evenings once the sun goes down," Nancy Alamo said.

Wildlife officials advise people to not leave pet food out and to clean up after a pet. 

 

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