Residents share concerns over recent coyote attacks

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 10:18 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - A woman in East Nashville is mourning the loss of her cat. She said a coyote attacked it. This comes after another family in Green Hills said they lost their dogs to coyotes earlier this summer.

Deborah Leeper is a TWRA licensed rehabber. She said after talking with other rehabbers specializing in coyotes, she believes her beloved cat was killed one Friday.

Leeper is currently rehabilitating more than 50 animals at her East Nashville homes, like baby squirrels and possums. Leeper also has pets like her Siamese cats Toby and Lacy. Unfortunately, Leeper said that a coyote in her front yard killed Toby on Friday. “It is a horror, it is,” Leeper said. “It is not one of your children because it is an animal, but it is really. People get close to your pets, and I was really close to Toby.”

Leeper believes coyotes are a growing problem in Nashville. She said with more development, their wooded habitats are getting cleared out. As a result, Leeper said coyotes are ending up in peoples’ yards. Last month, WSMV 4 reported on a video that captured three coyotes in someone’s yard in Green Hills dragging a dog into the bushes.

“The best thing is to have a 6-foot-tall privacy fence,” Barry Cross with TWRA said. “That would deter a coyote. Do not leave small animals alone.”

Cross said TWRA would not euthanize coyotes unless a human is attacked. Cross said small children are even at the risk of a coyote attack.

Leeper said while she loves animals, the animal rehabber believes coyotes do not belong in Metro Nashville. “Any baby deserves to get saved, but I would probably get it taken to the hills of Tennessee,” Leeper said.

TWRA said people should make sure coyotes are afraid of you, so if you see them, yell and throw rocks. Plus, don’t have things in your yard that would attract them, like water or food sources.

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