Coyotes chase boys in Richardson park

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by STEVE STOLER / WFAA-TV

wfaa.com

Posted on February 15, 2010 at 11:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 16 at 7:50 PM

Coyote attack

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RICHARDSON — Two boys who were playing at a Richardson park had a close encounter with a pair of coyotes that left them scared and shaken.

The coyotes chased them from an area near a playground at Crowley Park. The big question Richardson health officials are asking: Why did the coyotes pursue the boys?

The incident happened  in broad daylight at 12:30 Sunday afternoon. The two boys — ages 11 and 12 — were walking near a playground at the park when the coyotes emerged from the woods. The coyotes began chasing them.

One of the animals grabbed the 12-year-old's pant leg, ripping it.

As the boys ran, the coyotes stopped chasing them and walked back into the woods.

“It's just really unusual for coyotes to chase anybody," said Bill Alsup, health director for the City of Richardson. "They're just usually real passive and will run away from human contact."

But as urban sprawl encroaches on more coyote habitat, close encounters with coyotes have become common.

A News 8 photographer recently captured two coyotes on video, lounging by a bike trail, just off Coit Road and Hedgecoxe Drive in Plano.

Ryan Stolte and Richie Boles spent the afternoon fishing in a pond in the same area where the coyotes in Richardson gave chase. “You never know with a wild animal,” Stolte said. “It’s probably best just to leave them alone if you see them."

Richardson officials came out to take a look for themselves. They didn't see any coyotes, but they set live animal traps where they observed animal tracks.

The city’s health director says urban coyotes are an issue in all North Texas communities.

E-mail sstoler@wfaa.com

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