A real Wile E. Coyote plagued Wichita residents in 1984
The real-life story was a dark, gritty adaptation of the beloved toon.
LOONEY TUNES and all related characters are ™ of & © WBEI
Looney Tunes is great because none of that stuff could happen to us, right? No matter where we go in the world, we're not going to be outsmarted by a mouthy rabbit. Chances are, we're not going to come across an upright pig with a stutter. If there are Martians out there, we probably won't be on a first-name basis with them, and will most likely not find ourselves in a war of words with one named Marvin.
Yet, the Looney Tunes are also funny because they stretch the limits of very real physics. Falling off cliffs and getting crushed by anvils? Those aren't everyday events, but it's fun to watch what might happen.
So what happens when life imitates art and the authorities are trapped in a war of wits with a very wiley coyote? Unfortunately for some folks living in Kansas in 1984, the reality was a lot less "looney" than its onscreen counterpart. Spoiler Alert: Things don't end well for the coyote.
On one single day in February '84, Wichita police officers received dozens of calls about a wild animal in residential neighborhoods. There were so many calls, in fact, that the cops dubbed the canine "Wile E. Coyote" before even establishing visual contact.
Here's an excerpt from the February 18th, 1984, Wichita Eagle that summarizes just some of the terror that fateful afternoon:
"Folks around Lynnhurst kept their young children and small pets inside after Wile E. Coyote apparently tangled with Henry Blase's Shetland sheepdog, Sabre.
"The dog turned up with a head wound requiring 10 to 12 stitches Saturday. After Sabre refused to go outside early Monday morning, Blase's wife, Jeanne, spotted Wile E. Coyote in the backyard."
The dramatic tale came to a bloody end the following afternoon when officers Robert Cocking and Gary Johnson answered a call, triangulating the coyote's location for one final showdown. The officers tried their best to sneak up on the coyote, which tried its best to run away. But then, three shotgun blasts put an end to the story.
RIP to the Wichita Wile E. Coyote. We hardly knew ye.