Coyote attack has New Waterford on alert

While the grandmother of a teen who was attacked by a coyote in New Waterford says she's happy her granddaughter is alive, neighbours with small children say they're living in fear because coyote sightings are increasing in the community.

Mary Hutchison said the 16-year-old girl was walking to school along railroad tracks near her home last Friday when she heard a growling noise in the brushes.

The teen couldn't see anything, so she kept walking. Then she was struck from behind and knocked to the ground.

A passing motorist blew his horn and scared the animal away.

The girl was scratched but not seriously hurt.

Hutchison said if it wasn't for the motorist, the outcome for her granddaughter could have been very different.

"She is really nervous now. She is not going to walking alone anymore," said Hutchison.

"I hope they catch them because, you know, someone is going to get attacked really bad."

People who live in the neighbourhood said they want the animal trapped as soon as possible.

Although it's the first recorded coyote attack in the town, Shayna Strong, who lives nearby with her two young children, said there have been many sightings.

She has seen them on two different occasions.

"Knowing that it's here, literally in our backyard, it's very concerning to us because we're not 100 per cent sure if you want to leave the kids out in the yard for just a little bit," she said.

"We can't leave them just be kids and be free, as we used to be. We have to honestly be on top of it the whole entire time, and, us as adults, I mean, we're not as safe either. It's not just kids, it's adults as well that the coyotes are attacking."

Shayna's husband Darren said, "They're getting so aggressive and so bold. They're living with us pretty much, so that's really quite scary."

The Department of Natural Resources said the attack is unusual. It has hired a trapper to capture the animal.

Department officials said if anyone comes in contract with a coyote, they should back away, make themselves look as big as possible and make a lot of noise.

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