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Posted In: James River

Coyote Attacks in Richmond

Andy Thompson

July 21, 2016 10:52am

Have you followed the story of the two coyotes who attacked and killed a dog in its family’s front yard near Riverside Drive in south Richmond? It happened over the weekend in the Forest Hill neighborhood near Forest Hill Park.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 10.40.04 AM

A coyote in the James River Park on July 4th. Credit: Science in the Park/Friends of James River Park

As a dog owner, I really feel for the family that lost their pet. I’m also not surprised that it happened. As the game department’s Aaron Proctor told the Times-Dispatch: “Coyotes do live across Virginia now and are reported in almost every county. Unfortunately, coyote attacks on house pets is not uncommon. If you have domestic animals, it could happen anywhere.”

Years ago when I was the Outdoors columnist at the Times-Dispatch, I would get reports from readers every so often of coyote sightings in the James River Park System. I didn’t doubt their veracity, but no one ever had photographic evidence. That changed last year when cameras deployed in the park by the Friends of the James River Park captured still images and video of coyotes in many different park units.

“We have documented them on the north side of the river and the south side of the river in several places, as well as on Belle Isle,” VCU professor Anne Wright told the Times-Dispatch. “I think we can take from that that they’re everywhere.”

Click here and here if you want to know more about coyotes in Virginia.

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?