BELLEVUE—A male coyote that may have been the animal that attacked two young children Tuesday was killed this morning by a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) officer.
Sgt. Kim Chandler shot the coyote with his service revolver at approximately 6:30 a.m. today at the edge of a wooded ravine at the dead-end of S.E. 37th Street, in the Eastgate area of Bellevue.
The animal’s head will be submitted to the King County Health Department for rabies testing, and the carcass was transported to a private veterinarian for necropsy examination.
Chandler shot the animal after it approached him as he walked down a wooded trail. The trail is the same location where a man reported being aggressively approached recently by a coyote that retreated only after he threw a piece of wood at it. Chandler said he saw a television news interview with the man, recognized the location, and went out early this morning to see if he could call out the coyote. WDFW and U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services officers yesterday also set traps in the area.
On Tuesday, a 1 ½ -year-old boy was bitten in the ear by a coyote on the playground of Eastgate Elementary School and a 4-year-old boy was bitten on the buttocks by a coyote in the yard of his home. In March a woman was attacked in the same vicinity by a coyote that scratched her leg as she walked along a sidewalk to pick up her child from school, and in early April a toy poodle being walked in Issaquah was attacked by a coyote.
Officers will continue to monitor the area for coyotes said Capt. Bill Hebner, who supervises WDFW’s enforcement activities in the North Puget Sound region.
“This animal was definitely a problem coyote, although we can’t say for sure it was the same coyote that recently attacked the children,” Hebner said.
The cluster of unusually aggressive attacks in one area lead officers to suspect the coyote may have been fed by people, either intentionally or inadvertently through unsecured garbage, pet food or the like.
WDFW wildlife biologists say that coyotes gradually learn to become increasingly aggressive as they become habituated to people, and that feeding the animals furthers that process.