DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado Parks and Wildlife say a recent increase in coyote sightings have occurred across the metro area. They warn it’s all because it’s mating season.
While many are surprised that there have been sightings in the metro area, Jason Clay, a spokesman for CPW, says urban areas have a lot to offer for coyotes. Open spaces close to food with very little competition.
Recently, there have been sightings from Cherry Creek State Park to Wash Park.
Not long after CPW tweeted a warning, Colorado resident Kim Judd tweeted back with pictures of a coyote wandering the streets of Highlands Ranch.
CPW says the mating season can last through March, and the animals can be territorial and aggressive. CPW receives numerous calls about coyotes following people walking dogs.
It is not uncommon for a coyote to trail a dog on a leash if it’s in an area a coyote perceives as their territory. Dog walkers are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, to keep pets on leash and to haze any coyote that gets too close to them or their pet.
“If we were around and walking this trail and had a dog, a coyote might trail us. They’ll be around and vigilant, and they’ll investigate things that you know they think may be kind of encroaching on their territory specifically when it comes to other pets,” Clay said.
TIPS TO REMEMBER:
Discouraging Coyotes Near Homes
– Frighten coyotes with loud noises.
– Remove all food attractants from yards such as pet food, table scraps on compost piles, fallen fruit and bird feed.
– Trim or remove vegetation and brush that provides cover for prey (such as mice and rabbits) and hiding cover for coyotes; trim lower limbs of shrubs and conifer trees.
– Cover up or fill in any potential dens or tunnels under fences, porches, sheds or balconies
– Keep all trash out of reach of coyotes; place trash out only on the morning of pickup.
– Keep pets in fenced areas or kennels to minimize encounters; many coyotes can scale a six foot fence.
– Attend your pets when they are in the yard, especially at night.
– Keep cats indoors.
– Pet kennels and runs should have a fully-enclosed roof.
– Keep pets on leash when walking them in open space areas.
– Do not allow pets to run loose in areas where there is coyote activity.
– Keep pets vaccinated.
Protecting Yourself and Your Family
– Although rare, coyotes have been known to injure people. Most of these incidents involved people feeding them. Teach your family about urban wildlife and never feed wildlife.
– Coyotes are usually wary of humans and will avoid people whenever possible. If a coyote does approach you, haze it by making loud noises, yelling, throwing objects or make yourself look big.
– If a coyote is in your yard, haze it out of there.
– Never feed or attempt to “tame” a coyote.
– Teach your children to be SMART if they have an encounter with a coyote or other predator:
Stop, do not run or turn your back to it.
Make yourself look bigger by lifting your arms or pulling your jacket over your head.
Announce your presence loudly and firmly such as “LEAVE ME ALONE!”
Retreat by backing away slowly.
Tell an adult of your encounter.
Any aggressive coyote behavior toward people should be reported to local law enforcement or to the CPW office at 303-291-7227.