Date: Fri, 09 Apr 2004 09:22:40 -0400
From: Scott Hartman
Subject: Ferdin disputes coyote attack on child
L.A. Daily News
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Aggrieved parents appear to refute activist's claims
By Naush Boghossian
GLENDALE -- Parents of a Glendale girl who authorities say was killed in a
1981 coyote attack rushed to City Hall in the middle of a City Council
meeting after they saw an animal rights activist on television protesting
coyote trapping and questioning how their child died.
Clutching her daughter's death certificate in her hand, a visibly upset
Cathy Keen told council members Tuesday that she was there to counter animal
rights activist Pamelyn Ferdin's suggestions that 3-year-old Kelly Lynn Keen
died of some sort of blunt force trauma.
"I'm the mother of the child. My heart is pounding. I cannot believe someone
can accuse my husband or me of child abuse," said Keen, who is president of
the child advocacy group Glendale Healthy Kids.
Keen and her husband, Robert, had been watching cable access coverage of the
Glendale City Council meeting when they heard their names mentioned during
public comments by activists opposing city plans to trap and kill coyotes.
"I'm not here to discuss whether or not to trap coyotes, but when coyotes
walk into your front yard, you have a problem," Keen said. "And I will not
be accused of child abuse, and I think Glendale needs to be responsible for
Ferdin, a former child actress, said again Wednesday that she does not
believe the girl died from a coyote attack. "I stand by my beliefs that a
coyote did not kill (the girl)."
Another activist present at Tuesday's meeting, Maral Tejirian, said
Wednesday: "I felt bad for the mother for being upset about this and coming
In an interview Wednesday, Councilman Frank Quintero rebuked animal rights
activists for the comments.
"Leaving aside the merits of trapping coyotes, what the activists said at
the dais was cruel and absolutely uninformed," Quintero said.
"Knowing the mother, it broke my heart that they would do that to her. When
they were making the accusations, I was considering stopping them."
Tuesday night, Cathy Keen recounted her daughter's death in August 1981. Her
death is generally considered to be the only documented U.S. case of a
coyote killing a human.
Kelly Lynn let herself out of the family's Chevy Chase Canyon home and
encountered the coyote in their driveway, her mother said.
"The coyote dragged her across the street," Keen said. "My husband ran to
her rescue and chased the coyote off.
"We drove as fast as we could to Glendale Adventist Hospital, ran red
lights, did everything we could to save her life. She was in surgery for
four hours, and she died from injuries because of the coyote attack. I have
the death certificate in my hand."
The certificate listed the cause of the child's injuries as "mauled by a
Before the start of Tuesday's City Council, about eight activists held signs
protesting the council's decision two weeks ago to allocate $16,000 to help
fund trapping and killing about 40 coyotes by year's end. City leaders said
the step was necessary to curb the number of coyotes that have been coming
down from the foothills in search of food.
The disturbing part is that this death could have been prevented.I don't blame the coyote,it was only an animal trying to fill its belly.I blame the people that have or are trying to block the use of proper control and management.If the animals had been kept at a healthy population by hunters and trappers it probably wouldn't have happened.Its a real shame.