Memphis Daily News Chandler Reports Nashville Ledger
» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 43 | NO. 27 | Friday, July 5, 2019

Is a coyote sighting worth reporting?

Print | Front Page | Email this story

Fast food left on the ground? Yeah, coyotes love that.

-- Shutterstock.Com

How concerned should you be if you spot a coyote lurking around your neighborhood?

Depends on if you have a pet who roams in an unfenced yard and, if so, how attached you are to Fido or Mr. Whiskers.

Coyotes love pets, gastronomically speaking.

“They are predators, and they are opportunistic,” says Richard Kirk of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. “Coyotes will prey on whatever’s available, including cats. They will also attack dogs, although that could be more of a territorial conflict.”

Whether a pack of coyotes wants to take Fido out for dinner or take over his turf, the encounter is probably not going to turn out well for the coyotes’ canine cousin.

Kirk says the TWRA gets “weekly questions” from coyote-concerned citizens.

“Most of the time the caller has seen a coyote and become concerned,” he adds. “Basically, we tell them not to be alarmed, that it’s probably easier to live with them than to remove them. If one set of coyotes is removed, a new set will move in.”

If the caller is adamant about wanting a coyote evicted, the TWRA suggests contacting an animal-control specialist. The agency doesn’t have sufficient personnel to respond to every coyote call.

To deter coyotes from hanging around your house, the TWRA advises not leaving dog food and other goodies outside. Of course, the rebuffed coyote will probably mosey down the street to seek a neighbor’s unattended dog chow or food scraps. Or a delicious kitty.

A hungry coyote won’t simply go vegan.

If you spot a coyote, the TWRA says, don’t approach it. It’s likely more afraid of you than you are of it. Usually.

If it acts menacing, go indoors and call the TWRA, police or licensed animal-control professional.

Kirk notes he is personally unaware of a coyote harming a human, although there have been reported incidents, including an internet video that appears to show a coyote attacking a five-year-old in Los Angeles.

Coyotes often have mange and parasites during the summer and can carry the rabies virus, though they are no more rabies-prone than racoons and skunks.

The TWRA permits coyotes to be hunted and trapped year-round, without limit, to try to control their numbers. But most municipalities prohibit discharging guns in residential areas, thereby creating virtual coyote sanctuaries.

As for trapping, the cunning critters are difficult to snare or lure into live-traps, and leg-hold traps are banned in the ‘burbs where pets roam.

Many professional trappers claim coyotes are the craftiest of all wild creatures, and the most challenging to catch.

Wile E. Coyote is aptly named

– Larry Woody

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0