Last week we shared the tale of a pack of vicious wild dogs hounding an Akron neighborhood [“Menace in the Woods,” by D.X. Ferris].
This week’s canine catastrophe comes courtesy of Erie County sheriff’s deputies, who killed one coyote and wounded another in an Oberlin park earlier this month after the animals approached a mother and her son. The two escaped with the help of 911 and deputies, who went Dirty Harry on the animals when one lunged at them.
“Typically, coyotes are not a threat,” says Erie County wildlife officer Kevin Good, adding that this the first serious human-coyote incident he’s seen in ten years on the job.
Formerly confined to western states and popular children’s cartoons, coyotes have built up a regular presence in Cuyahoga County in recent years, with sightings everywhere from Burke Lakefront Airport to the abandoned Oakwood golf club in Cleveland Heights. A cyclist in the Metroparks was bitten by a rabid coyote in 2005, offering irrefutable evidence that God wants us to drive cars.
Humans should be wary of any wild animal that isn’t wary of them, says Good. “Most wild animals are afraid of people. It’s an instinct. If people encounter a wild animal that is not acting right — whether it’s approaching them or if it looks hurt or sick — they shouldn’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement.”
Good adds that the same rule applies when confronted by campaigning politicians.