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Coyotes not uncommon in Dallas-Fort Worth suburbs

COLLEYVILLE -- It's a miracle that Jasmine is alive.

Snatched from her Rose Street back yard last week by a coyote, the Yorkshire terrier escaped, but her injuries required emergency surgery, said Sharon Herron, the dog's owner.

Herron, her husband, Lee, and their neighbors say it concerns them that predators prowl their Colleyville neighborhood, not far from City Hall.

But the area belonged to coyotes, bobcats, foxes, skunks, raccoons and other animals before people moved in, said Mona Gandy, a Colleyville spokeswoman.

"People are encroaching on what has always been their territory," she said.

The wild animal population hasn't increased, but the number of encounters increases as development spreads, and it isn't limited to Colleyville, Animal Control officer Michelle Watson said.

"I've talked with my counterparts in Euless, Hurst and North Richland Hills," she said. "All of us are getting more calls on bobcats and foxes."

Watson said coyotes are so common that people rarely report sightings. Police officers see them "every so often" during nighttime patrols, she added.

There have been no attacks on people, Watson said. But Herron's Yorkie was the fourth domestic animal attacked this year.

"One cat and two calves" have been coyotes' victims, she said. "A farmer who has lived in Colleyville for 40 years said he lost two calves at different times, killed soon after they were born."

Those incidents represent a decrease in attacks. Watson said that three years ago, she would find as many as three cats a week that were killed by coyotes.

The best thing residents can do to reduce the chance of wild animal attacks is to make their neighborhoods less accommodating to them.

The property behind Herron's is large and overgrown. Watson found spots that were ideal dens for coyotes.

Gandy said the city sponsors an occasional seminar designed to teach residents how to coexist with wild animals, because they will always be a part of the area.

Watson agreed.

"They've run out of places to get away from us," she said.

Terry Evans, 817-390-7620

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