Encounters: Urban Coyote
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More people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than are bitten by coyotes. Often, coyote attacks are preventable by modifying human behavior and educating people about ways to prevent habituation. In many human attack incidents, it turns out that the offending coyote was being fed by people.
In many other instances, people were bitten while trying to rescue their free-roaming pet from a coyote attack. Less often, people are bitten by cornered coyotes, or even more rarely, rabid coyotes. There have only been two recorded incidences in the United States and Canada of humans being killed by coyotes. One involved a child in Southern California in the s and the other a year old woman in Nova Scotia in These events, rare as they are, are serious and warrant serious response.
A coyote who has bitten a person will have to be specifically targeted and removed from the population. Most health departments will mandate testing for rabies, which requires that the offending coyote be killed. Under no circumstances does an attack by an individual coyote warrant killing at large, in an effort to reduce the population or simply ring up the bill on coyotes as an act of retribution.
Coyote Encounters by Zip Code
Coyotes, like all warm-blooded animals, may contract rabies. Their close kinship to dogs places coyotes at greater risk where there are populations of unvaccinated domestic dogs. Recent advances in rabies control using oral bait to immunize wild animals without having to capture them have made controlling the spread of rabies in coyotes much more effective. Do not leave your pets unattended outside, not even for a second.
Remember, electric fences may keep your pets contained but do not keep other animals away.
Free-ranging domestic cats and feral cat colonies may also serve to attract coyotes; it is important that domestic cats be kept indoors and that feral cats be spayed or neutered to control this population. Bringing food inside when outdoor cats are not feeding might alleviate part of this coyote attractant. When you encounter a coyote, shout or throw something in its direction. Do not run away. Do not play victim if you can help it. If a coyote seems intent on defending a certain area, particularly around pupping season May , your best bet may be to alter your route to avoid conflict with a normally calm animal; understand that there may be seasonal patterns of behavioral changes and act accordingly see Coyote 's story.
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We recommend if you are out walking that you carry some sort of noise maker with you some have reported success scaring off coyotes by shaking a can of rocks. If you see a coyote during the daytime, you should exhibit caution, as that coyote may have become habituated to humans and may be more likely to attack. Some repellents may work in keeping coyotes out of small areas such as yards, although these have not been tested thoroughly for coyotes. Repellents may involve remotely activated lights or sound-making devices. Fencing may keep coyotes out of a yard, particularly if it is more than six feet in height with a roll bar across the top.
Spray repellents pepper spray, etc that you can carry with you have been reported with only moderate to no success. If a coyote is acting as a coyote should by avoiding humans and pets, do not seek out opportunities to haze or otherwise aggravate the animal. Embracing communal respect is key. When a coyote fails to exhibit fear of humans or acts aggressively, the animal should be reported as soon as possible to the appropriate officials.
Artesia, CA - Official Website - Coyote Management
It is recommended that towns have a procedure in place to handle these reports. Signs of aggression are similar to those shown by domestic dogs and include agitated barking unprovoked , raised hackles, snarling, growling, and lunging. These behaviors are usually preceded by other indications as shown in the chart below, though may change seasonally see "suggestion 3" above.
Wondering who to call with your coyote concerns? If you are having a conflict with a coyote, you may need to contact your individual town's animal control or police department to learn about their protocols for handling coyote issues since each municipality and agency may respond differently. You may also contact the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for further guidance. In most instances, removal of a non-dangerous coyote i. In this case, you will need to contract with a licensed wildlife trapper. Wildlife handling of any type should always be provided by a professional.
In non-threatening situations, our research indicates that often it is best to leave coyotes where they are since the removal of one animal does not ensure removal of coyotes from your area in general.
Coyote enters house through doggie door, killing pet in ‘unprecedented’ attack
Most municipalities have adopted this belief. Because this project is research driven, assisting private homeowners with their individual issues with coyotes is usually not logistically possible. We are happy, however, to speak with you to offer any guidance we can if you do not find the resources you need online. A list of signs indicating an increase in threat from coyotes is presented in Figure 1.
It is important to note, however, that coyotes are highly variable in their behavior and this sequence may not always be predictive. Still, management programs for urban coyotes should begin with public education and untangling facts from myths.