Po­lice, par­ents on alert af­ter chil­dren at­tacked by coy­otes in New York sub­urb

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

RYE, N.Y. — Fire­fight­ers have searched for them with heat-sens­ing cam­eras. Po­lice of­fi­cers, un­der or­ders to kill, have fired shots at them out­side dark golf cour­ses. Nerver­acked par­ents have stayed up late re­search­ing their be­hav­ior on­line.

“It’s all that any­one talks about,” Kate Taub­ner said, keep­ing a hand on her son Jack’s head as if to hold him close.

In this sub­urb, dot­ted with bas­ket­ball hoops, train­ing wheels and bub­bling creeks, life has been up­ended by mangy in­trud­ers that seem to be on a tear: coy­otes. In the past nine days, two girls play­ing out­side their homes were at­tacked in sep­a­rate episodes, of­fi­cials said. Both girls suf­fered only mi­nor in­juries, but the highly un­usual attacks — ex­perts say there may be as few as five coy­ote attacks against hu­mans an­nu­ally across the coun­try — have prompted a wide-rang­ing re­sponse that has in­cluded heli­copter searches, er­rant gun­fire and an end­less stream of gos­sip.

As Made­line Dono­van, 5, said on her way to the pool, “Blah blah blah coy­otes.”

Her mother, Diane Cle­hane, a for­mer Rye res­i­dent who now lives in Scars­dale, N.Y., shrugged. “You don’t ex­pect to put coy­otes on the list of great con­cerns liv­ing in sub­ur­bia,” she said. “They know a good neigh­bor­hood when they see it.”

The po­lice have ad­vised par­ents not to let small chil­dren roam far­ther than an arm’s length away and to keep them in­doors at night.

“There’s the ‘bad-man talk,’ ‘stranger dan­ger,’ ‘don’t eat so much candy’ — and now here’s the coy­ote talk,” said one mother, Mar­ian Wright, who had to sit her chil­dren down and ex­plain the lat­est threat. “It’s pretty freaky, ac­tu­ally.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.