Six horses used by a Michigan sheriff’s department mounted division have been moved to safety on other farms after ongoing trouble with aggressive coyotes, resulting in the serious injury of a second mare.
The trouble has been unfolding on the farm of Kallie Meyers and her husband, Bruce, who keep seven horses as part of their reserve deputy roles for the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Mounted Unit.
It began late in January, when 27-year-old K.O. Carmen was euthanized as a result of injuries attributed to an attack by coyotes.
The off-duty mare was attacked while eating her dinner of grain around 3pm on Sunday, January 25. She was less than 150 feet from the house and just 30 feet from the barn.
Officers suspect the mare may have fallen, allowing the coyote to inflict the more serious injuries. She was euthanized soon after the vet arrived.
The coyotes were scared off when challenged by the owner’s five dogs, who were alerted by the commotion. Several of them suffered puncture wounds in the fracas.
The coyotes could be seen in the treeline watching, following the attack.
Now, the mounted division is reporting a second attack, on Friday on the same farm, which is located on the border of Lapeer and Oakland counties, in the area of East Oakwood and Hosner Road,
It said on its Facebook page that several farmers in their area had reported that their horses were skittish and constantly on the move during the late morning.
One local farmer chased coyotes off, but they were back around noon.
Around this time, another of the police horses, Lady, was found with a gash nearly two feet long across her abdomen. She was able to get back on her feet, and was led into the barn, where a veterinarian spent several hours closing the wound.
It is believed the injuries were caused from her running into something while being chased by the coyotes.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and wildlife specialists have visited the farm to investigate the attacks.
Lady is starting her long recuperation. The horses on the farm have been temporarily relocated to other mounted members’ farms for safety.
Coyote attacks on large animals are rare.
Local reports suggest the Meyers are considering fostering donkeys, which are known to deter coyotes.