I am responding to a front-page news story on July 16 about an 84-year-old woman who saved her neighbor's dog from a 100-pound coyote and his pack. They were about to tear this poor dog apart. It happened at 11:30 a.m. The woman bravely screamed and shouted and the coyotes ran off. She was deservedly complimented for her courageous act by DuPage County Forest Preserve District ecologist Dan Thompson. He said, referring to people in general, " ... you have to stand up to them and they're going to back down."
Well, Mr. Thompson, is that all there is to it? I've seen at least three coyotes (I've counted them) pass through and linger in our backyard at different times this summer. They were alone and most likely hungry and searching for food in broad daylight. Could the pack be far behind?
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Unlike the hearty and brave Mrs. Jefferson, I didn't do the "right thing." I, like most people, was too scared, really scared, and I ran in the house, shut and locked the door tight and looked out the window. One coyote seemed to look back at me as it stopped for a moment to survey the terrain.
Sorry, Mr. Thompson, these are wild animals. When will Mr. Coyote graduate from little doggies to human beings? Who will protect us? When will the rhetoric stop and real action be taken? A friend of mine just got back from a aafari in the depths of Africa's jungle. His guide and him in their Land Rover were more protected from threatening wildlife than we are. You can't expect ordinary, non-heroic people to stand up to wild and dangerous and unpredictable animals.
Larry J. Powitz