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Harsh Winter Blamed for Coyote Problems

Experts say coyotes are having a hard time finding food. Plus, they're overpopulated and mating season makes them aggressive and bold.
(CHAMPAIGN, Illinois) A coyote on the hunt found a woman's dog and killed it right in her backyard. The attack happened on Mary Lane in Champaign, Illinois earlier this week.

Angie Jamison's home is a few miles away from the interstate, surrounded by lots of trees and tall grass. She always knew coyotes lurked around her backyard, but she thought she could stop them.

"If they can't find rabbits and squirrels and field mice they will find dogs," says Jamison. "We thought if we have the fence we will be safe."

For years her four best friends were safe. Until one night she let her terrier, named Riley, out as usual. He came back a few minutes later with dislocated bones and punctured ribs.

"I saw him come up, and he just looked in a panic. I put him up on the counter top and that's when I realized he was all bloody. It was like someone socked me because I knew we had them, but they've never bothered anyone," says Jamison.

However, this year is different. Experts say because of the harsh winter, coyotes are having a hard time finding food. Plus, they're overpopulated and mating season makes them aggressive and bold. Jamison found tracks leading up to her front steps.

"They're clever, but they're nasty. They're mean and aggressive and they will eat whatever they can find, they will eat," says Jamison.

Since the attack she's had traps put in around her property and doesn't let her dogs out alone after dark.

"It's amazing the violation you feel, you know, I don't like the dark out here anymore," says Jamison.

Jamison has gotten a lot of support after writing about Riley's death on Facebook and says if there's one thing she hopes it teaches others it's this: "Nothing will stop a coyote."
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