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Coyote ugly: Upscale NY suburb stirred by nasty debate over whether to kill the wily varmints

  • In this Feb. 19, 2015 photo, Ann Styles Brochstein holds her Havanese dog Samson near where Samson was attacked by a coyote outside her home in Chappaqua, N.Y. The suburban Town of New Castle, which includes Chappaqua, is divided over how to deal with the coyotes that have moved in over the last several years. (AP Photo/Jim Fitzgerald)

    In this Feb. 19, 2015 photo, Ann Styles Brochstein holds her Havanese dog Samson near where Samson was attacked by a coyote outside her home in Chappaqua, N.Y. The suburban Town of New Castle, which includes Chappaqua, is divided over how to deal with the coyotes that have moved in over the last several years. (AP Photo/Jim Fitzgerald)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Feb. 24, 2011 file photo, a coyote crosses a snowy street in the Irvington section of Portland, Ore.  A battle has erupted in New York’s Westchester County over how to deal with a burgeoning issue of coyote conflicts with people and pets. While some residents want to kill them, others say the animals should be relocated. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Beth Nakamura, File) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; NO LOCAL INTERNET; THE MERCURY OUT; WILLAMETTE WEEK OUT; PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP OUT

    FILE- In this Feb. 24, 2011 file photo, a coyote crosses a snowy street in the Irvington section of Portland, Ore. A battle has erupted in New York’s Westchester County over how to deal with a burgeoning issue of coyote conflicts with people and pets. While some residents want to kill them, others say the animals should be relocated. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Beth Nakamura, File) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; NO LOCAL INTERNET; THE MERCURY OUT; WILLAMETTE WEEK OUT; PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP OUT  (The Associated Press)

The well-heeled hamlet of Chappaqua north of New York City is embroiled in a nasty debate that seems oddly out of place amid the stately homes and tony boutiques: What should be done about coyotes?

Coyote spotters in Chappaqua and the rest of the Town of New Castle have counted 160 incursions into backyards and streets over the last two years and at least 10 recent attacks on pets. That's stirring animal passion among residents over the question of when a coyote deserves to be killed.

Email and social media have swirled with such terms as "coyote jihad." And members of a local task force that advocates killing some animals announced they were staying away from a recent public hearing for their own safety.

A policy is expected in the next few months.