Herriman dog owners on edge after increased coyote sightings and attacks

Posted at 6:00 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 20:00:48-04

HERRIMAN, Utah – There has been an alarming increase in coyote sightings near a Herriman neighborhood. In one case, the coyotes stalked a woman and attacked her dog.

Last week, Noelle Boothe was walking her dog Chaka in the afternoon near the Juniper Canyon trail in Herriman when they came across a coyote.

“We yelled at the coyote to get out of there and he wouldn't go. He just sat there and looked at us. Like he wasn't leaving. He wasn't scared of us. But he was after my dog," said Boothe.

They got away, but a few days later when she went back out with her daughter, they encountered some aggressive coyotes.

“My daughter's dog got attacked by a couple of them at the watering area. They kinda stalked her and followed her up the trail a bit. That was scary,” said Boothe.

She’s relieved the dogs didn’t get seriously hurt, but worries that with children nearby at Providence Elementary, the coyotes may be getting too comfortable.

“It kinda makes us nervous being out here with our kids out on the trails. Lots of kids go to the pond and they like to explore," said Boothe.

Stephanie Natt is with Wild Aware Utah. She says right now it’s pup raising season for coyotes. Coyote parents are bolder from now until July because they’re protecting their dens.

“If coyotes are sitting down in one particular area and yipping or watching you, you're probably close to a den. You need to get out of that area," said Natt.

Natt says with more coyotes popping up near trails, people must learn how to coexist with the animals. Leashing your dog is very important.

“Leash them up when you're walking through that section. If you think you're out of the clear you can take them off leash," said Natt.

Coyotes are fearful of people, but if you find yourself face to face with one, Natt offers some safety tips.

“You don't want to look like a bunny rabbit all timid and all of that. You just want to be very forceful. Get away, get out of here. If it keeps advancing, it needs to equate humans don't equal free food. It means aggravation and maybe some pain if they get hit by a stick or a rock," said Natt.

For more safety tips click here.