'Fearless' coyote kills third dog this year

Police can’t say whether predator struck last year

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A coyote struck again in Lone Tree recently, snatching and killing a small dog near Sweetwater Park.

The most recent victim, a bichon frise/shih tzu mix named Mimi-T, reportedly slipped out of the door of a Lodge at Willow Creek apartment and into a gully near the park about 12:40 p.m. April 28. Mimi-T’s owner, Jeanne Trosch, said a coyote so large it resembled a wolf snatched the dog, according to the report.

Trosch started screaming and chasing the coyote, “praying he would drop her,” she said. “He started shaking her as he was running. Once he went down into the creek area, I knew she was gone forever. I turned around and started crying.”

Trosch described the coyote as huge and fearless.

“We’ve seen them before and normally, they’re pretty scrawny and afraid,” she said. “This one is really brave. He walks back and forth by our apartment. What’s frightening is there are little kids who play out there. I just wish they could catch him.”

Mimi-T is the third dog killed by a coyote in Lone Tree so far this year.

In spring 2012, six dogs were killed in the Lone Tree and Acres Green area and police said they believed a specific, unusually large coyote attacked most, if not all, those pets. Dog owners also reported a large coyote came unusually close to them while they walked their dogs in the Lone Tree area, and appeared unafraid of people.

City officials were so concerned about the animal’s unusually brash behavior, they authorized police to kill it. The large coyote vanished before police could do so, and city spokeswoman Kristen Knoll said police can’t say the animal who killed Mimi-T is the same one.

“I don’t think we’ve identified a particular coyote in this instance,” she said. “No police officer saw the coyote in this most recent incident.”

Lone Tree Police encourage people to report coyote sightings by calling 720-509-1399 or filling out an incident report at the city’s web site, www.cityoflonetree.com.

Knoll said the city wants to know about any coyote interaction, even a sighting.

“We track everything,” she said. “So that really helps us to pinpoint coyote activity to keep residents and their pets safe.”

Like many Colorado communities, Lone Tree has a coyote management plan that outlines ways to resolve human-coyote conflicts. Suggestions include hazing the animals and monitoring their activity, and killing them when such action is considered necessary.

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