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Sean Maxwell opened the door to let his two chihuahuas in the back yard. Fortunately for Pluto, he didn't want to go out. But almost instantly, six-year-old Zoe was grabbed, and her neck made a horrible snapping sound as she was dragged up a ravine by the coyote that had been worrying the Beaches neighborhood of Toronto for months.

Maxwell, 32, said, "I saw it come over the fence and land and pounce right on the dog. Grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and tore up the hill."

Though he'd heard the little dog's neck snap before the coyote had jumped back over the four-foot fence, Maxwell nevertheless tore out after the coyote hoping to save his pet. But by the time he got to the top of an icy ravine, the coyote was nowhere to be seen.

There are great ravines throughout Toronto, and coyotes have staked out territories in many of them. This particular coyote lives nearby in an abandoned fox den. Other neighbors, though aware it had already killed a lot of cats in the neighborhood, thought it unjustified to track down and kill the coyote.

But the coyote has reappeared several times since that terrrrible day in February, 2009, always at the top of ravine overlooking the Maxwells' yard. And the family is afraid to let their other chihuahua Pluto (in final photo below), or their three year old daughter Lucy and one-year-old Pipa, in the back yard at all.


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