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City of Arlington to partner with wildlife agency to remove aggressive coyotes from Parkway Central Park after biting incidents
By City of Arlington
Feb 15, 2024
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Arlington, Texas -- The City of Arlington has partnered with the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Wildlife Services to trap and remove one or more coyotes from Parkway Central Park after three children were bitten in separate incidents.

 

Parkway Central Park, 600 Van Buren Drive, will remain closed to the public until further notice. The City has installed barricades at the park entrances and will place digital message board signs along the park perimeter to notify the surrounding community about coyote activity. The City has also notified the surrounding properties and the Arlington Independent School District about the coyote activity after receiving a 911 call about a coyote following pedestrians near the North Arlington park on Wednesday afternoon. Out of an abundance of caution, animal control and police officers will be present Thursday when students are arriving to and leaving from Arlington ISD’s Jones Academy of Fine Arts and Dual Language.

 

Coyotes, which are typically afraid of people, can be found throughout Arlington. Sightings may be common, but aggressive encounters have been rare here, Code Compliance Director Brian Daugherty said.

 

“Public Safety is our priority and the City of Arlington had not previously experienced any coyote attacks. Coyotes and other wildlife are now part of our urban environment, and we need to find the best way to coexist,” Daugherty said. “There are always measures to take when walking paths and neighborhoods when you could come into contact with wildlife. Should you encounter wildlife, be sure to not engage with them and definitely do not feed them. Should you feel threatened be sure to make yourself as large as possible and appear intimidating. You can also bring whistles, air horns and walking sticks as an added deterrent.” 

 

Click here to learn more about coyote behavior in urban environments. Residents can also make an online report of a wildlife sighting in Arlington by visiting the City’s Action Center webpage and scrolling down to “Wildlife Sighting.”

 

“If you do spot wildlife, we encourage you to report it on our website so it can be appropriately tracked and addressed with our Animal Services staff,” Daugherty said.

 

The City has been notified that all three children that were bitten at the park on the playground or in the parking lot between Saturday, Feb. 10 and Tuesday, Feb. 13 have been treated for their injuries and have been released from the hospital. They will all receive post-exposure rabies treatment.

 

Arlington Animal Services initially set a trap at the park after being notified that a child had been bitten by a coyote there on Feb. 10. Searches for the coyote were unsuccessful, however. On Feb. 13, the City closed the park and Animal Services set additional traps and conducted patrols for the animal after receiving notification that another child was bitten that day. The City has since learned that another child had been bitten while visiting the park on Feb. 12.

 

The City will now work with USDA wildlife staff to continue efforts to reduce the number of coyotes at this park in an effort to change the pack’s behavior. The USDA staff will evaluate the area and the animals to determine that number. Coyotes that are removed from the park will be tested for rabies and the families of the children who were bitten will be notified of the results.