Dad Strangles Coyote To Death After It Attacks His Toddler
A father strangled a coyote to death with his bare hands after the animal attacked his two-year-old child in Kensington, New Hampshire.
Ian O’Reilly was walking with his wife and three children near Judes Pond at around 11am on Monday, January 20, when the wild animal reportedly jumped out of the woods and grabbed his youngest child by his hood.
The father immediately ‘went into protection mode’, kicking the coyote before wrestling it to the ground and killing it, according to New Hampshire Police Chief Scott Cain.
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The struggle lasted for approximately 10 minutes, with O’Reilly telling local news outlet Boston 25 News he was ‘running on instinct and adrenaline’ throughout.
There was no interest in it going away. [I] ultimately had to make the decision to become the aggressor and jumped on it, attacked it and [got] it to the ground.
When I was able to get on top of it, I put my hand on its snout so it wasn’t able to attack me. There was quite a bit of snow on the ground, so I shoved the face into the snow and then eventually was able [to] put my hand on its snout and expire it through suffocation.
Ultimately one hand on its windpipe and one hand on its snout did the trick.
The dad said he didn’t take any pleasure in killing the animal, but believed he had no choice.
During the struggle, O’Reilly was bitten in the arm and chest. The toddler was also bitten, though the snowsuit he was wearing at the time protected him and the coyote didn’t manage to break the child’s skin.
Because he was bitten, O’Reilly has received his first round of rabies shots but will need to have four follow-up visits to doctors to receive more. The carcass of the coyote is currently being tested for rabies.
Police said it is possible the same coyote was behind two other attacks in the area that same morning. At approximately 9am, a coyote attacked a moving car at Hampton Falls, and 20 minutes later, another coyote reportedly attacked 62-year-old Pat Lee as she sat in her front porch.
It must be noted that although coyotes have been known to attack humans (as in this case) and as such are a potential danger to people, the risk is minimal.
This is because coyotes are usually wary of people and will avoid them wherever possible, usually only acting predatory towards small rodents, rabbits and deer.
Project Coyote is therefore trying to get us to understand how we can coexist with these animals and not react to them out of fear or stereotypes, such as they have rabies or eat from fast food restaurants.
Dan Flores, author of Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History, told National Geographic coyotes don’t carry rabies and they hardly eat any human food. ‘By learning to co-exist with them, we can tap into something that’s ancient to this continent,’ he explained.
In fact, the Urban Coyote Research Project believes the number of attacks could be reduced through changing human behaviour, such as not feeding them, not letting pets run loose, and not running away from coyotes if you see one.
Despite the fact coyotes actually pose little danger, they have been subject to a ‘pitiless war of extermination’ by ranchers and government agencies, with the National Geographic describing them as ‘the victims of attempted extermination’.
Approximately 500,000 coyotes are killed each year, many shot to death from small planes and helicopters. This is in spite of the fact there is no credible evidence that the indiscriminate killing of coyotes effectively serves any beneficial wildlife management purpose.
In fact, it’s been found to be counterproductive and a threat to healthy ecosystems, as per a signed statement by 70 prominent conservation scientists condemning coyote killing contests.
So while in this case the father had no choice but to kill the coyote, as his family was in danger and he believed there was no other way to protect them, scientists do advise we avoid killing the animals as much as possible.
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CreditsBoston 25 News and 4 others
Boston 25 News
Urban Coyote Research Project