Coyote gives police, animal control a run for their money in Clinton

Sep 4 2013 - 6:03am

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Photo courtesy of JERRY EATCHEL
A coyote on the loose in a Clinton neighborhood led police and animal control officers on quite a chase throughout the neighborhood on Monday.
Photo courtesy of JERRY EATCHEL
A coyote on the loose in a Clinton neighborhood led police and animal control officers on quite a chase throughout the neighborhood on Monday.
Photo courtesy of JERRY EATCHEL
A coyote on the loose in a Clinton neighborhood led police and animal control officers on quite a chase throughout the neighborhood on Monday.
Photo courtesy of JERRY EATCHEL
A coyote on the loose in a Clinton neighborhood led police and animal control officers on quite a chase throughout the neighborhood on Monday.

CLINTON -- A tired coyote showed up in a resident's backyard and gave police and animal control officers a run for their money.

Jerry Eatchel discovered the animal loitering in his backyard Monday, alerted a neighbor, and they all brought their pets indoors.

Then, Eatchel took some pictures after calling Davis County Animal Control.

"She walked right past me, within three feet, like she was a domestic dog," said Eatchel, an avid outdoorsman who enjoys camping and fishing. "I could not believe how docile she was. And she seemed really worn out after coming from wherever she had been."

But things changed when animal control tried to drop a net on her.

"As soon as animal control tried to catch her, it was game on," Eatchel said. "She perked up and went crazy."

Eatchel, animal control and a Clinton police officer maneuvered to try to corner the animal in Eatchel's yard, but they were outflanked. The animal even took flight from a low fence to clear the pursuers.

"She was just a little quicker than me, which I would expect from a coyote," said C. Hammon, the animal control officer who eventually caught the coyote. He declined to give his first name, saying he gets enough grief from animal lovers having to chase stray dogs all day.

Before she was nabbed, the coyote made everyone work for a living, running from house to house circling Eatchel's cul-de-sac, then fleeing to the next cul-de-sac, with Hammon in pursuit in his truck and the Clinton officer in his vehicle with overhead lights going.

"It was hilarious," said Eatchel.

The coyote was finally captured a few streets to the south, cornered by the posse, so Hammon could snare it with a catch-pole. It was the first coyote call in any urban Davis County city in recent memory, officials said.

"We don't get many coyote calls, if at all," said Tracy Roddom, assistant director at Davis animal control. "I'm surprised it's not the talk of the shelter today."

Davis had received five or more calls about the animal that day before finally encountering it in Clinton. Other officers had been searching for likely the same animal, with calls reporting a coyote in the nearby Roy and Hooper area earlier in the day.

Hammon would not speak of the coyote's current condition, only to say that the animal was captured. Coyotes are classified as a nuisance, officials said, with a bounty in Utah and are known to carry ticks and various diseases, including rabies. They are illegal to own as pets in most counties, likely also banned by state law and are known to feed on domestic cats.

Eatchel said this one likely came from the areas west of Clinton. "A lot of experts won't accept her crossing Interstate 15 from the east."

Contact reporter Tim Gurrister at 801-625-4238, or tgurrister@standard.net. Follow him on Twitter at @tgurrister.

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