Coyote attacks on the rise in Indianapolis suburbs

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You might not expect it in a quiet neighborhood, but coyote attacks are a growing problem in central Indiana.

Eyewitness News has covered more than a dozen attacks in Fishers, Carmel, Lebanon, and now, Greenwood.

The primary targets are family pets.

Greenwood police say they've dealt with at least 12 coyote attacks on pets on the city's southwest side and are now getting more concerned about people, especially children.

"It's like losing a family member," says Rex Saltsgaver of losing the family dog Lexie to a recent coyote attack. "Your child has been attacked by a predator. You just never think that its going to happen in a fenced in backyard in a suburb, where you just don't see wild animals."

Even if Greenwood residents don't see coyotes, they're there say Greenwood police.

"Some of these coyotes in the city are over 50 pounds. That's huge for a coyote," explains Greenwood Assistant Police Chief Matt Fillenwarth.

It's not just the family pets though police are worried about. They're concerned about the kids, too. People at Westwood Elementary School say they've seen coyotes in broad daylight on the playground.

"We just didn't have outside recess that day so we're very conscious of it," recalls one teacher of a recent incident.

"When peoples pets are being snatched up in their backyard, you know, you don't want to wait until that becomes someone's child," adds Fillenwarth.

"Those are rare, but they do happen," he adds.

That's why the city is working on hiring trappers to catch some of the coyotes.

"We have to do something, I mean, we just can't let it go on," explains Fillenwarth.

If nothing is done, Greenwood Police say the problem is only going to get worse.

Police say it's a good idea to trim shrubs back and any landscaping. Those are great spots for coyotes to hide before they strike. If you think a fence is going to keep coyotes out, think again. Police say coyotes can easily jump them or get under them and get to your pets.

Police also say electric fences that keep your pet inside your yard won't keep coyotes out and could trap your pet, leaving them easy prey.