It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
originally posted by: Flyingclaydisk
I'd say coyotes are responsible, this is very typical coyote behavior. Coyotes are highly intelligent predators, and people often mistakenly think coyotes are just lone animals, but they are often very pack oriented. I've seen packs of coyotes kill scores of animals seemingly only for sport, leaving the carcasses behind.
Coyotes will also stalk a threat, many times over days or even weeks. They have keen memories of locations and adversaries, and they will often use the weather, visibility and terrain to their advantage when they return in sufficient numbers to take down their prey. I suspect there is probably another food source where these llamas were, and the coyotes waited until just the right time to remove the 'obstacle' between them and this food source.
When coyotes attack they use tactics similar to wolves. They will first gang up on the guard animals, while others scatter the rest of the animals. The guard animals are distracted by the rest of their herd being scattered and attempt to protect them as they flee which exposes their flanks to the attack coyotes designated to take out the guard animals. The attack coyotes will then usually "hamstring" the guard animals and pull them down where they are defenseless against numerous adversaries attacking from all angles. The hunter coyotes will then pull down the rest of the herd, one by one, when they are alone. It's a very effective hunting technique and one of the reasons ranchers like myself have to be very vigilant in keeping coyotes pushed back (you can never really completely eradicate them).
As noted, coyotes are smart, and about the only thing they are truly afraid of his humans, especially humans who understand coyote behavior (and believe it or not, the coyotes actually know who those people are). In rural areas, these people are just about everyone, but in more urban areas not so much. This is why coyote vs human encounters happen far more frequently in urban areas than in rural ones. The coyotes are not afraid of humans when they know humans can't shoot at them. For this reason, most often when we take a coyote out we will leave it as a 'bellwether of doom' to other coyotes.
ETA - I'd be willing to bet these llamas were killed on a night where there was snow, blowing snow / sleet, and decent moonlight. The blowing snow keeps both the sound and visibility down, it also keeps the prey's head's down (and often eyes closed). The wind also throws off their scent, keeps the prey in one location. The moonlight enhances shadows and silhouettes for the coyotes already excellent night vision. Out here, that's a perfect night for a coyote infiltration. Plus, they know (they just "know") this is when humans are least likely to be present hunting them (because it's the least pleasant time to be outside). Like I said...they're smart!
Early Monday morning, eight llamas at a farm in the neighborhood were attacked and killed by dogs, a coyote or something else. A veterinarian who examined the llamas called the wounds "canine in nature." Lawson believes she heard the attack from her nearby home. "Very fierce, ferocious, unusual," she said. "It definitely sounded like a minimum of two dogs. It wasn't just one dog barking." Friday afternoon, Louisville Metro Animal Services released new clues that suggest a pack of dogs may have been the culprit, since three of them were recently spotted near the farm. "I don't know where the dogs came from, but they were pretty good size to take down a 500-pound llama," said John Miller, who also lives in the neighborhood. Luckily for Miller, his dog Duke is an indoor dog, except for occasional walks on a neighborhood trail. "We do watch out the windows more and look back over our back fence just to see if we see anything, but we've not noticed anything," Miller said.