LAKEWOOD, Colo. - Aggressive coyotes have attacked two leashed dogs and followed others on walks with their owners in Crown Hill Park.
Because the park is located in a suburban area between Lakewood and Wheat Ridge, the sequence of recent coyote sightings has officials with Colorado of Parks and Wildlife warning residents about how to deal with the wild animals.
"In order to coexist with wildlife we need them to have a healthy and natural fear of people," said Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill.
Crown Hill Park is surrounded on three sides by residential neighborhoods. The east side is bordered by a cemetery.
Five sightings of coyotes in the area of the park have been reported to Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife since April 17, said Churchill.
The first incident involved a woman walking two dogs in the area who reported she felt a coyote was following her. Churchill said that woman tried for several minutes to scare the coyote away and while it retreated a little, it did not turn around and leave.
The next two incidents resulted in injuries to the pets. On April 24 a dog was nipped on the hind quarters by a coyote and on April 24 a dog was grabbed by a coyote around 7:15 p.m. Both pets survived.
On May 7, around 6:30 a.m., a woman walking a dog reported being approached by a coyote who behaved aggressively, Churchill said.
"She tried to haze it and the coyote bared its teeth and was growling at her. It would not leave the area," Churchill said.
Then, on May 9, another woman told Parks and Wildlife about being approached by a coyote that would not be scared away.
Churchill says anyone encountering a coyote in a populated area needs to continue trying to scare the animals away with loud noise and movement. The coyotes should not be allowed to approach or feel comfortable around humans and pets.