The same pack of coyotes that killed a deer Monday morning in an Iredell County man’s front yard turned its attention next to his two dogs, killing one of them in less than a minute, reports the Statesville Record & Landmark.
Pet owner David Barringer told the Record & Landmark it happened about 6 a.m. on Old Mill Drive, after he let out his two Dachshunds, Baby and Cracker Jack. The home is northwest of Mooresville.
In less than a minute, he found 9-year-old Baby was dead on the front lawn next to a small deer carcass, while 10-month-old Crack Jack was being chased by coyotes, it was reported.
“It all happened within a blink of an eye,” Barringer, 53, told the newspaper. “It’s just a sick feeling.”
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Barringer saved Cracker Jack by yelling and chasing the coyotes, which scattered quickly, it was reported.
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission experts believed the coyotes were trying to protect the deer carcass, which may have been intended to feed coyote pups. State officials also suspect the deer may have been a road kill that was found by the coyotes.
News of the attack prompted others to post their own “scary” encounters with coyotes on social media.
“Three years ago, my father was attacked near our property,” posted Debbie Merritt. “He was out for a walk. It was by the grace of God that he was not killed. We live in the West Iredell district.”
North Carolina officials say they have yet to confirm any cases of unprovoked attacks by coyotes on humans in the state.
The Observer reported in April that coyote sightings keep cropping up in the area, with reports of missing, injured or dead pets stretching from south Charlotte to the University area and Union County.
Sightings have practically become a mainstay on some social media sites like Nextdoor. In March, coyote sightings ranged from Interstate 77 North near Sunset Road, alongside a creek in Matthews and behind a Cornelius cul-de-sac, county records show.
In February, a German Shepherd therapy dog was attacked by coyotes in its backyard in Weddington.
If you see one, officials offer the following tips:
▪ Keep your distance.
▪ Back away slowly while yelling and waving your arms. Don’t run.
▪ Call 911 only if your life is in danger or you are being threatened by coyotes or other animals.
▪ Keep dogs on leashes when walking them, as coyotes are much less likely to approach if a person is nearby.
▪ Look around your backyard for the animals before you let the dogs out.
▪ Never feed coyotes.
▪ Store trash in covered, heavy-duty animal-proof containers.
▪ Fence off outside animal enclosures and include a top.
▪ Don’t leave pet food and water out at night.
▪ Make sure pets’ rabies vaccination are up to date. If they come into contact with a wild animal the vaccination will save its life.
- If you have coyote questions, a state biologist can be reached Monday through Friday at 866-318-2401.