Mike: I sent you this link about a pack of coyotes that attacked a horse here in Michigan. Kinda makes me think about all those times I’ve headed out of the woods after dark and heard more than one coyote howling, knowing they were chasing something…–Steve
It’s a fact that growing populations of coyotes kill a lot of fawns and, to a lesser degree drag down some adult deer. The predators kill and eat newborn calves, chickens and even cats and small dogs. But kill a 1,000-pound horse? I’ve never heard of that before.
According to the mlive.com story initial reports from law enforcement said: “Unfortunately they (multiple coyotes) ganged up on this mare and drug her down from the back…We just need to get out to the community there is a danger right now… It could have been a kid or adult.”
Since the story broke last Sunday, there has been growing hysteria, and doubt, in the area. Some residents say they are spotting more and coyotes, which are becoming increasingly aggressive, even in daylight hours (this attack supposedly occurred at 3 p.m. last Sunday). Also, some folks say that the coyotes in the area have grown noticeably bigger, perhaps coyote-wolf crosses that have moved down from Canada.
But now, skeptics are speaking out.
One of more than 300 locals that commented to the original mlive.com said: “If this attack had really happened, we’d have evidence such as bite patterns/marks and other forensic data. Or are we to believe the coyotes ate the whole horse? Nothing in this article points to any real evidence. All this article is meant to do is insight (sic) more uproar against wolves and coyotes.”
And from this dailytribune.com story posted 2 days after the attack: “No cases of coyote attacks on humans or horses have ever been documented in Michigan, said Tim Payne, the DNR’s southeast regional wildlife supervisor. ‘We’re looking to see whether it was a (pack) of coyotes that actually took down a horse, because that is highly unlikely and not documented. We’re also looking to inform people that everything we know about coyote behavior tells us people do not need to fear for their safety if there are coyotes in their neighborhood.’”
Payne went on to say that initial reports indicate no one witnessed coyotes attack the horse. He said an examination of the animal’s body would shed light on what kind of predator attacked it, but the horse has already been buried.
I wonder about this one. Do you think coyotes could drag down and kill a horse?