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Orchard Park woman's horse attacked by coyotes

Posted: 11:39 PM, Aug 16, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-17 11:29:48-04

Beverly Hammersmith loves horses. “Horses are the reason I get up in the morning,” said Hammersmith.

That's true for her horses Fern and Lore. It was also true for her horse, Zip. A few weeks ago Hammersmith was woken up by a series of yips and then something that sounded like a scream. It was Zip.

“I looked out the window and I could see him trying to walk. And he was laying on his back,” said Hammersmith.

The horse was trying to fight off what Hammersmith says was a pack of coyotes. Zip caught and broke his leg on a wire fence. There were bite marks on the horse. Within the hour, a veterinarian humanely euthanized the horse.

“Zip had to suffer. Some good has to come out of this,” said Hammersmith.

Hammersmith is worried a child could be attacked one day. She wants the state to take action against the some 30,000 coyotes estimated to live in the state.

“They need to be hunted out and shot,” said Hammersmith.

Coyote hunting season that starts in October. For the safety of her horses, Hammersmith hired a DEC licensed hunter who is allowed to remove the pack near her house. Until then, she leaves her lights on and doesn't let her horses out at night.

It is very rare for a coyote or a group of coyotes to attack an animal as large as a horse. They're more likely to attack smaller animals and even pets. To protect your pets the DEC recommends people don't feed their pets outside and secure outdoor trash bins.

If you do see a coyote being aggressive toward you, look as large as possible and make lots of noise.