Louisville Magazine

JUL 2016

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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Page 40 of 112

38 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 7.16 A BIT DEEPER mellwoodartcenter.com wineshoplouisville.com Hero's ire. Ten came an odd sound, sort of a high-pitched bark, echoes of animals tangling in the wilderness. Hero, a 40-pound dog, was likely larger than the coyote — most adults rarely exceed 30 pounds; most of their body is fuf. But they're wiry, strong. "Tey're the most athletic little 30-pound dog you could imagine," Nally says, adding they can easily bound a standard chain-link fence if there's something they want. Silence. Te scufe ended. Hero approached Dehli bleeding badly, her hind legs mauled. A patch of fesh about the circumference of a softball had been torn of one leg. Dehli wrapped Hero in towels and sped of to a veterinary emergency room where Hero received multiple stiches. She was fnally released at 4 a.m. with antibiotics and a hefty vet bill. Dehli has talked with Nally since the attack. She's learned that, come late spring, coyote sightings spike because Mom and Dad have typically three to seven pups, meaning more mouths to feed. A few months later in the fall, when pups are kicked out of the den, coyotes again emerge more visibly as pups search for new territory to settle. But learning about typical behavior doesn't reconcile this particular coyote's aggressive actions. "If our situation was the only one," Dehli explains, "I'm not sure I'd be so concerned." She has friends who've spotted coyotes on the streets of their Seneca Park subdivision. In April, a woman told the Courier-Journal a coyote went after her Boston terrier and "stalked" them for a half-mile. And a few weeks after Hero's attack, another dog on her street fell victim. Hilary Noltemeyer's dog, Pilot, an Australian shepherd and poodle mix, was out for a walk at 10 a.m. on a Sunday when a coyote growled and pounced from the bushes, puncturing Pilot's back legs. Urban coyotes are usually nocturnal, as to help avoid nuisances like cars and people. So the morning attack shocked Noltemeyer, especially since the woman walking Pilot was nearly six feet tall, a stature that should intimidate. Noltemeyer wants something done. "I'd hate to wait until someone gets hurt," she says, noting that small children live throughout the area and often use the park. (Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare.) But Dehli and Noltemeyer, like many residents in the area, feel conficted. Cherokee Park is a wondrous neighbor. Nature deserves respect. Punishment feels cold in a place known for harmony. Tey have one neighbor who's ready to rid the coyotes guns blazing; others are calling for peace, education on animal behavior and understanding. Noltemeyer has looked into hiring a private company to set traps on her property but that can cost up to $4,000. (Nally says setting traps inside Cherokee isn't a good idea as they might catch dogs running around of-leash. Also, research shows that killing or trapping an adult coyote can decrease competition for mates in a given territory and ultimately lead to coyotes breeding earlier and having larger litters.) "Honestly, I don't know what I want to happen," Dehli says one morning as she and Noltemeyer sit on a bench at Big Rock. Noltemeyer points to a young couple with a petite lab mix walking along a nearby trail. "I'm watching these people right there," she says. "Tat dog is just a little bigger than Pilot, and I suppose a coyote could go attack that dog too." I ask how Hero and Pilot are doing. Pilot's fne, though Noltemeyer's kids are a bit skittish. One night her young daughter asked her to pull the car into the garage before they got out. Hero's still got one wound that's healing. "At frst, she'd hardly step of the "To keep the coyote safe, and everyone safe, it's good to train that coyote to be afraid of humans again."

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