After four attacks on humans in nearly five weeks, police in Frisco and an urban biologist have joined animal services in the hunt for an aggressive coyote.
The most recent attack on Wednesday morning put a jogger in the hospital. The jogger had to have surgery due to extensive injuries, say police.
“Normally, when you look at them they run off,” said Texas Parks and Wildlife Urban Wildlife Biologist Sam Kieschnick. “That is normal behaviour for a coyote. They’re very skittish, very secretive, very shy.”
Coyotes are common to North Texas, but rarely attempt to attack humans. Kieschnick can’t be sure the animal is rabid, but the coyote is clearly not behaving normally.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of an aggressive attack on a person,” explained Kieschnick.
He spent Thursday searching the two miles area where all four attacks have been reported, along Eldorado Parkway between Rogers Road and Granbury Drive.
Wednesday’s attack on the jogger happened at around 6 a.m. near Eldorado Parkway and Rogers Road.
Investigators said the jogger was on a sidewalk, and suffered significant injuries to the neck.
It was the fourth reported attack or sighting in the area.
On October 26, an aggressive coyote attempted to jump on a runner near Eldorado Parkway and Granbury Road. The coyote was scared away by a passerby.
On November 1, an aggressive coyote jumped on a 9-year-old child on Bancroft Lane, near Eldorado Parkway and Turf Lane. The child suffered a minor injury and was taken by a parent to a doctor for treatment.
On November 11, a coyote was observed by a Frisco Police Officer stalking a runner at the intersection of Eldorado Parkway and Preston Road. The officer was able to scare the coyote off using the siren.
Frisco animal services said they have been trying to locate the coyote.
Traps have been set out to catch it, but since they are looking for one animal, Kieschnick believes extensive patrolling could eventually pinpoint the aggressive coyote.
Frisco Police say patrol officers have joined animal services to patrol in the mornings, when all of the attacks have been reported.
“Ordinarily, their shifts may start at 7:30 in the morning but I know that they’ve been out earlier with our patrol officers trying to spot the animal,” said Officer Grant Cottingham. “They’re also contacting other agencies and wildlife experts to try and get any feedback they can in terms of trying to catch this animal.”
Police are asking walkers and runners to avoid the area.
Each attack happened between 6 and 8 a.m. Because several schools are located nearby, they're recommending parents drop kids off at school or walk in groups to avoid becoming a target.
Police recommend taking a whistle, airhorn or walking stick if you're walking or jogging in the area during those times.
Police say the people injured in the attacks should all be okay.