Residents share concerns over recent coyote attacks

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – An East Nashville woman mourns the loss of her cat. She said a coyote attacked her. It comes after another Green Hills family said they lost their dogs to coyotes earlier this summer.

Deborah Leeper is a TWRA Certified Rehabilitator. She said after talking to other coyote rehabilitators, she believes her beloved cat was killed on a Friday.

Leeper currently rehabilitates more than 50 animals in his East Nashville homes, such as baby squirrels and possums. Leeper also has pets like his Siamese cats Toby and Lacy. Sadly, Leeper said a coyote in his front yard killed Toby on Friday. “It’s a horror, it is,” said Leeper. “He’s not one of your kids because he’s an animal, but he really is. People get close to your pets and I was very close to Toby.

Leeper thinks coyotes are a growing problem in Nashville. She said that with more development, their woodland habitats are disappearing. As a result, Leeper said coyotes end up in people’s yards. Last month, WSMV 4 reported a video that captured three coyotes in someone’s yard in Green Hills dragging a dog through the bushes.

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

Cross said TWRA will not euthanize coyotes unless a human is attacked. Cross said small children even run the risk of being attacked by a coyote.

Leeper said that while she loves animals, the animal rehabilitator believes coyotes don’t belong in Metro Nashville. “Every baby is worth saving, but I’d probably have him taken to the hills of Tennessee,” Leeper said.

TWRA said people should make sure coyotes are scared of you, so if you see them, yell and throw rocks. Also, don’t have anything in your yard that might attract them, such as water or food sources.

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