GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - A new coyote reporting hotline is up and running in the city of Dallas.
It was put into place after a coyote attacked a 2-year-old boy who was out on his porch Tuesday.
Friday morning, a class was held in Grand Prairie on how to defend yourself from an aggressive coyote.
The workshop was already scheduled before the toddler was attacked on Tuesday. It was put on by Texas A&M Agrilife Extension.
Participants learned how to spot an aggressive coyote and what to do if they encounter one. The instructor was the USDA urban biologist who is assisting the city of Dallas with its coyote problem.
Inside the Grand Prairie Public Library Friday, about a dozen people took part in a class on "understanding urban wildlife."
A major topic of conversation was coyotes.
The workshop was held four days after 2-year-old Landon "Knox" Thomas was viciously attacked by a coyote on the porch of his Lake Highlands home.
USDA urban biologist Adam Henry, who is helping the city of Dallas track down aggressive coyotes, led the discussion.
"Time is of the essence so we can see the pattern in that community," he said. "Anytime we have that interaction, we need to reinforce our presence as the dominant presence."
Henry said that means people should not walk away from the coyote, but rather yell and scream, make yourself look big.
"At some point, he's going to get used to not being afraid of those big loud noises, and we have to have an advanced harassment tool," he explained.
That means throwing things at the coyote, like tennis balls or rotten fruit you may have in your yard that fell from a tree.
"We’re reinforcing our vocal noise and introducing a touch component and distance component," Henry said.
And be aware of what might attract coyotes indirectly, like bowls of pet food left outside.
Since the attack Tuesday, biologists have killed three aggressive coyotes in the neighborhood near the White Rock Creek Greenbelt.
The 2-year-old suffered neck lacerations, a hairline jaw fracture, bruises, and scratches in the attack. Thomas’ family said his condition is improving and he’s now able to get out of bed and walk around. He’s also eating solid foods again.
Urban biologists said coyotes are here to stay. Residents have to learn to coexist with the good ones. The new hotline is meant to help weed out the bad ones.
"Educating the public, educating that caller as to how to deter that coyote from approaching," Henry said.
Anyone who spots a coyote in the city of Dallas is asked to call the reporting hotline. Anyone who sees a coyote is asked to call 469-676-9813 or visit BeDallas90.org/coyotes.