I’ve heard reports of some coyote sightings here in Garden Oaks. It never occurred to me that coyotes might be in the middle of the city. I have small children and pets and this really frightens me! Any advice on protecting our pets and ourselves from them?
Guarded about Coyotes
in Garden Oaks
Coyotes are indeed found in urban areas. Mostly due to development, coyotes are increasingly pushed out of their habitats and found living among us in our cities. The good news is that coyotes attacking humans is an exceedingly rare occurrence. According to the Humane Society, “more people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than bitten by coyotes.” The real risk of coyotes to your family is the safety of your pets. Coyotes are most active at dawn and dusk, so make sure to keep a careful eye on your outdoor cats and small dogs during this time.
Coyotes “habituate” in urban areas
Coyotes’ diet consists of rodents, snakes, birds, grass and fruit. One problem with coyotes and humans living in close quarters, is that coyotes are adapting to this new environment by eating from garbage cans and pet food bowls. Not only does this draw the animals closer to homes, but it also “habituates” the coyotes–or makes them less fearful of humans. And this is a very dangerous thing.
Hazing is encouraged
If a coyote gets too accustomed to the sights, sounds and smells of humans, they’ll keep encroaching on property. The best thing to do if a coyote is coming too close is to “haze” them. Hazing consists of making loud noises, throwing rocks or spraying them with a water hose to make your property as inhospitable as possible.
It’s also advisable to bring in bird feeders and lock your doggie doors at night to remove any means for hunting or gathering from the coyotes’ game plan. Generally speaking, coyotes are harmless to humans but with a few precautions, you can be sure to keep your pets safe and your property inhospitable to coyotes.
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