Tim Chitwood: Coyotes turn ugly in rural Columbus

tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 19, 2014 

Maybe the dingo ate your baby: It's Monday Mail.

Deadly dingo

Today's opening is a pop culture reference to an Australian mother once convicted of killing her 2-month-old daughter, though the woman claimed a dingo took the child, and authorities later decided she wasn't lying.

The line's not in "A Cry in the Dark," a film about the case, but it became a pop-culture catchphrase after the character of Elaine used it in an episode of "Seinfeld."

Coyote ugly

Speaking of wild beasts, have you heard reports of coyotes attacking pets around town? I hope folks are keeping track of where that's happening, because as a dog owner myself, I'd kind of like to know.

With specific addresses of such incidents, we could Google map where coyotes are most aggressive.

Individual coyotes may not present much of a danger, but packs tend to be more territorial. They see little pets as prey and big dogs as competitors, and they guard their range.

Here's an email that was circulating Friday out in the Midland area:

Just wanted to make folks in the area aware. We live on Warm Springs Road just north of Midland Methodist Church. This morning, about 7:15, my wife let our two dachshunds outside as part of her morning routine. Within a few minutes, she heard coyotes yipping near the back yard. She went out on the patio to make sure everything was okay. At that point, she saw two coyotes chasing one of our dogs. They were in a pasture behind our house and caught our male dachshund. She was able to scare them off, but Baxter does have puncture wounds and bite marks on his neck and on his back. He's at the vet now and should be fine, but I just wanted to pass the word on so that others would alert to this possible danger to their pets.

Will.

Dear Will:

So what are the gun laws out in that area now? I think that if coyotes came after my dogs, I would be tempted to exterminate them myself, rather than alert the authorities.

Sound the alarm

More reports followed:

From a Neighbor: Wednesday night brought a coyote attack on my neighbor's Lab mix as he roamed or was coaxed into wooded area near Midland lodge. He fought back but had a serious wound. Another neighbor on Garrett Road had their dog attacked by coyotes recently as well. These and earlier Warm Springs road attack would seem to indicate that the coyotes in the Midland post office region have become more aggressive toward family pets. Please exercise caution with your cats and dogs and small children.

Dear witnesses:

You know, we might just have to have a big coyote hunt, if this keeps up.

Tim Chitwood, tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.com, 706-571-8508.

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