LAPEER COUNTY, MI — Authorities say an attack by coyotes has killed a horse from the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office mounted division.
The attack happened about 3 p.m. Sunday at a farm in Oakland County’s Oxford Township.
“They had caused so much damage to her we couldn’t save her,” Lapeer County Deputy Kallie Meyers said Monday night.
Meyers said the attack happened on Sunday afternoon at her farm in northern Oakland County. K.O. Carmen, a 27-year old mare that was formerly an event horse, was in a separate pen eating when coyotes began their taunt. Meyers said the horse scrambled to get away but slipped on ice, and that’s when the pack attacked.
“This is devastating to a horse owner, especially a mounted officer, because their animal is their partner. It would be no different than losing a K-9 dog,” said Lt. Bruce Osmon of the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office.
Lt. Osmon, head of the mounted unit, says the horse was feeding around 20 feet from a barn and 70 feet from a home at the time.
Osmon says the attack was “pretty aggressive,” given the close proximity of the home.
“When I’ve come upon them, they’re not afraid of me, they don’t run away. They’ll stand within 20 feet of you and just look at you, and you can make noise, and they’ll walk away, they don’t run away,” said Deputy Meyers.
A group of five to six coyotes attacked the 27-year-old horse while it was eating, police said. The horse was brought to the ground during the attack.
The owners heard the attack occurring and their dogs responded, police said. The dogs chased the coyotes away. The horse later died from its wounds.
Diesel, one of the dogs that chased the pack away, was injured in the scuffle and has teeth marks from one of the coyotes.
Deputy Meyers worries with a pack of coyotes this fearless, who knows what could happen next.
“Had this been a small child or had someone slipped and fell onto the ice, they were right there,” said Meyers.
Deputy Meyers says that her plan is to put a donkey in the pasture with the rest of her horses. She says donkeys will fight back, and they’ll make a lot of nose, which scares the coyotes off.
The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and Department of Natural Resources is investigating the coyote attack.