Police warn residents to keep watch over their children and pets after three coyotes attacked a dog in Daniels Run Park.
A Fairfax woman was recently playing fetch with her 6-year-old Labrador retriever when three coyotes teamed up on the dog, biting its back legs, said Sgt. Joe Johnson of the . The dog was running off-leash, and police believe it may have wandered too close to a coyote den in the park.
Coyote attacks are rare in the city limits. Sightings, though, happen more frequently and often in Daniels Run Park and on the tank farm property. Johnson believes coyotes prefer those areas because they are home to Canadian geese, deer, rabbits, snakes, raccoons, squirrels, birds and other potential prey. Coyotes are also drawn to cats, small dogs and garbage.
"We are doing our very best to get the word out and will be closely monitoring the parks with extra motorcycle patrols and bike patrols," Johnson said. "We ask that the public contact us whenever there are coyote sightings."
Coyote attacks on humans are rare, but not unheard of. Police urge residents to help prevent run-ins with coyotes by keeping their pets on leashes, sticking to city park trails and securing their trash.
If you stumble across a coyote, make a lot of noise, clap, stomp, yell to scare the coyote away, Johnson said.
Report sightings to Animal Control by calling 703-385-7924. Click here for more information on coyotes.