After three people were attacked by coyotes, a group of more than 200 residents at the Vistancia community in Peoria showed up to an informational meeting Thursday night in which police and members of the Arizona Game and Fish Department addressed concerns.
Randy Babb with the Arizona Game and Fish Department told CBS 5 News they wanted to encourage residents to remain alert and refrain from activities such as reading, sleeping or sunbathing on their patios until the problem is resolved. They suspect someone is feeding the coyotes given their behavior.
"They should hunt and feed themselves and by feeding them I think you're just encouraging them to come back in," said Vistancia resident Frank Hawkins.
Three people were attacked in one area of Vistancia called Trilogy, known for catering to Baby Boomers. One woman was bit Monday, and a man and woman were bit on Tuesday. All the victims were in passive, lounging positions at the time of the attacks.
"That does alarm me because it's one of the reasons we come here, is to be able to sit down on the patio and just relax out there," said Vistancia resident Leslie Hawkins.
Babb said they have killed three coyotes so far and will continue to be in the area searching for coyotes until the attacks cease and residents feel calm.
"We're not just shooting and killing any coyote we see, we're trying to remove coyotes from the area where the bites occurred," Babb said.
Game and Fish officials said at the meeting there have only been 15 coyote bites or scratches since 1997. That's about one a year, but Maricopa County has about 5,000 dog bites every year.
Babb said the department is getting help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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3933 Washington Road
Augusta, GA 30907