Phoenix neighbors plan to eliminate coyotes following attack

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A group of neighbors in North Phoenix is planning an operation to eliminate wild predators near their homes.

Residents of the Bella Terra condominiums plan to hire a humane trapper to relocate several coyotes.

Their plans are the result of a recent attack near 52nd Street and Shea Boulevard. A 12-year-old girl watched four coyotes maul her dog, Sammy, who was following her outside while she disposed of the family Christmas tree.

"We stayed at my aunt's house for a week because I couldn't come back here," Gracie Herman told 3TV.

Others in the area are carrying noisemakers, stun guns and pepper spray when they walk outside.

"I'm completely paranoid," Lorre Rogers-Franco said. "I won't walk both of my dogs at the same time. I figure if coyotes attack one, I at least stand a chance of being able to save him."

Arizona Game and Fish authorities said they have no indication that the coyote population along the greenbelt is rising. They said the wildlife corridor has been home to coyotes forever and human-coyote interactions are to be expected.

Still, neighbors insist they have seen an increase in coyotes and an increase in overgrown brush lining the greenbelt.

"I'm not saying exterminate them, but move them into a desert area where they can harm no people and no pets," Michele Stratton said.

Stratton is organizing a community meeting this Saturday where they plan to hire a humane, state-licensed trapper to move some of the coyotes out.

Howling has increased at night, Stratton said, a sign that breeding season is coming. The neighbors hope their trapper is successful before the coyotes begin to multiply.