Lifestyle & Human Interest

After Coyote Tries To Attack Age 2 Boy, Dad Grabs Animal and Strangles It to Death


Many people are familiar with the sight of coyotes, whether they live in urban, suburban or rural areas. The dog-like critters are out and about, often scavenging around dawn and dusk.

And they’re getting bolder and bolder, venturing closer to humans as they learn to live among them. That’s part of why, when a coyote attacks someone, it’s difficult to tell if it’s just a result of them becoming too comfortable with humans or if there’s an underlying disease at work.

On Monday morning, the Kensington, New Hampshire, Police warned locals that a coyote attack had taken place.

“*** ALERT ***,” the department posted on its Facebook page. “Coyote attack in the area of Wild Pasture Road & Hemlock Road. Keep your pets & children in your residence. If you spot the coyote do not approach it & call the Kensington Police immediately.”

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At around 2 in the afternoon, the department updated followers with more details on the string of attacks that officers believed were committed by one coyote.

The first encounter was particularly concerning, as it involved a coyote attacking a car — something most wild animals would never attempt. That happened at around 8:40 a.m.

By 9 a.m., another report came in about a coyote that approached the home of Pat Lee, an older woman. The woman’s dogs ran out, were attacked and ran back into the house — and the coyote followed them.

“I realized this was a coyote, and I just started screaming at the top of my lungs to try to get him to stop and go away,” Lee told WMUR-TV. “It was very, very scary, but it could’ve been a lot worse.”

When 62-year-old Lee tried to close the door to keep the coyote out, it bit her, too, before leaving.

Two hours later, yet another call came in about a third attack on a family out enjoying a hike — but this time, the coyote attacked a 2-year-old boy, grabbing him by the jacket and throwing him to the ground. Thankfully, Dad was close by and wasn’t having any of it.

Ian O’Reilly and his wife leaped into action. Kicking and trying to scare the coyote was having no effect, so O’Reilly wrestled it to the ground and strangled it.

“In the middle of the moment you’re not really thinking or recording a whole lot,” he said. “It’s really just instinct. The fact that when we tried to kick and push and get rid of him, it became clear that he was not disengaging.”

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After a string of such brutal attacks, obviously rabies was at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

“The coyote has been caught by New Hampshire Fish & Game and is being taken to get tested for rabies,” the police department posted.

While the little boy was not harmed in the attack, O’Reilly was bitten on both his arm and chest. He, Lee and Lee’s two dogs have all received rabies shots as a precautionary measure while they wait to hear about the results on the coyote.

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