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Coyote bites toddler in the back, drags her by the leg in Arlington; minutes later another young child is attacked nearby

Arlington Police report two children were attacked by a coyote yesterday afternoon in Arlington: A two-year-old girl on Epping Street was bitten in the back and then briefly dragged by a coyote, then ten minutes later, another two-year old girl on Summer Hill Circle, about a half mile away, was scratched by a coyote.

Police say both girls were in their family yards.

Both attacks were less than a mile from where another child was attacked last month.

Both children were taken to an area hospital for evaluation and suffered injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.

Officials believe that the same coyote was involved in both incidents. Officials searched the area in an effort to locate the coyote, and continue to work to keep track of coyote activity in the area.

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Comments

Is really a crazy clown.

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Voting closed 7

I have been telling you we have to eradicate these vermin before they start attacking kids. Well, they have started. Imagine what it will be like when the inevitable happens and there is a rabies epidemic in our urban coyote population.

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The sad thing is you need to get into the dens and kill the pups. These coyotes are breeding like crazy.

Sad all around but once kids start getting attacked in the day all bets are off.

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u could watch your kids

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This goes beyond that. Once toddlers are getting attacked when the sun is out it’s time to take action.

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Voting closed 69

Let’s all gather at Tony’s joint at sundown. We'll knock back a few then we’ll take care of those coyotes. You bring your guns and pitchforks and I’ll bring the napalm. Yeah, we’ll show ‘em.

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Voting closed 11

"Action" targeted at actually solving the problem, not eradicating all coyotes.

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Eradicating coyotes because one animal, possibly sick, attacked two people is no different than arguing to eradicate all dogs and cats because they too sometimes bite or scratch.

The best thing the good people of Arlington can do is make a concerted effort to secure all trash bins and receptacles, so coyote (and rats) focus their efforts elsewhere.

On a side note, over the past 12-18 months I've noticed far more rabbit chipmunk in urban areas than in past years. Is the increase in coyote simply a Lotka–Volterra response?

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Voting closed 55

But I’ve noticed that coyotes south of Boston have also ventured out during the day as well. My kids are big enough where I don’t have to worry about them (they seem to keep their distance from homes in general) but I’m not sure what’s going on in Arlington where kids are getting dragged away in the day time.

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Voting closed 23

Daytime activity is not unusual for coyotes
One child was “dragged briefly”, according to the report.
It does seem that there is one coyote acting in a very untypical manner. Most of the time coyotes are doing things that are beneficial to us by killing and eating vermin.

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Oh my bad that sounds safe.

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Pete was exaggerating a bit, but let's not pretend this is normal, expected, or acceptable behavior.

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let's not pretend this is normal, expected, or acceptable behavior

It isn't. So go after the coyote that did it.

Let's also not pretend that every coyote in the Commonwealth is doing this, because if they were, you'd know it.

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Voting closed 11

They're not as bold as the turkeys, but they've definitely been out and about for a while.

What we're seeing in Arlington is a coyote which:

  • ...is rabid, which could lead to more attacks by other coyotes, if it spreads. If caught and euthanized, the brain can be tested.
  • ...is sick in some other way, which can lead to difficulty catching the usual prey, making soft, slow, small humans seem a little more tempting. This is a pattern seen in a number of predators.
  • ...or has for some reason gotten it into its head that humans aren't forbidden prey and is having a go of it. (The usual psychological barrier against attacking humans as prey would be some combination of instinct and culture. I don't know the details here.)

All of these would call for euthanization of the animal, both to test for rabies and because if not rabid, it has decided that humans are food, and probably won't stop.

I suspect that increased boldness/decreased fear around humans is mostly cultural and partly individual learning, and could spread and change over time. This could lead to more animals deciding that young humans are food. I also suspect the correct solution in that case would be for people to chase coyotes away when they see them so that they keep their fear and their distance, but I defer to any actual experts on that. :-)

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Voting closed 44

Eradicate a species? Um, okay.

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before they start attacking kids

Do you think this is some sort of organized assault? Perhaps the feds can open a RICO case against the coyotes.

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It's not that I actually disagree with measures to curb the population growth of coyotes but "eradicate these vermin" literally transforms you into an outlandish cartoon villain and on principal I feel compelled to not agree with you.

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You're not right, you're a fucking psycho. You don't eradicate a species because there is a rabid coyote in Arlington.

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It's not psycho. There exists a good number of people (who strongly prefer cats to dogs) who hate coyotes and would be pleased if they were eradicated.

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Voting closed 11

...is psycho.

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I hate to be right

What a good thing that you're not right, then.

Eradicating a species because one individual attacked a human is stupid and pointless. If you want to eliminate dangers to kids, get rid of unvaccinated and unmasked adults.

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Voting closed 11

What is the remedy here? Can the coyote be arrested?

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At ACME

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Or go after humans who kill and injure far more people than coyotes.
By "accident" that is.

How many pedestrian deaths from people struck by trucks and automobiles so far this year?

Or bites from domesticated dogs?
My guess is they are much higher.

Priorities.

On the bright side, coyotes are better at jaywalking.

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Reading this in a literal manner- How many pedestrian deaths are there from domesticated dogs?

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an animal that has actually attacked a person. It would be euthanized.

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In fact, they will not relocate any wildlife. There is a regulation or some such.

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Bears would be an example of that.

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Relocation fails. the animal usually dies, and bears return to the original area. Sterilizations of feral cats works because they are not relocated.

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Are they mean enough to tangle with a coyote?

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While most of the coyotes in the area are not dangerous (to people), this one is sick or in some other way has become a threat, and will succeed to catching and eating a child sooner or later. It needs to be trapped and euthanized.

I'm not sure *how* you'd do it, but I bet Animal Control has techniques for this. Probably a dog told to follow coyote scent. As for establishing that it's the right animal, I know that DNA-matching is sometimes used—there was a recent story with I believe a mountain lion being positively identified for an attack on a human. (Welcome to the future!) Hopefully there are some fur samples from the attacks.

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Voting closed 25