TheColorado Parks and Wildlife department issued a statement and advisory on February 23, 2015 that residents need to be aware of. There have been an increased number of sightings and human interactions with coyotes in and around Boulder, Colorado. This poses a couple of problems.
Coyotes seldom pose much of a threat to adult humans. These are normally timid and shy animals. If you see one, yelling, making a lot of noise or even throwing rocks at them will usually chase them away. However, people shouldn’t turn their back to the coyote or try to run away from it. This could trigger predatory instincts in the creature.
While coyotes are normally not much of a threat to people, the same can’t be said in regard to pets, particularly cats. Several cats have already been killed in the area this year by coyotes.
Coyotes are opportunistic feeders. They are predators and their primary prey is rabbits and rodents. However they will eat fruit, garbage, refuse and just about anything they can get to that has nutritive value. Keeping garbage outside in uncovered containers can be an open invitation to a hungry coyote and this can bring the animal into proximity to homes, businesses and people. Garbage should always be put in covered containers or garbage cans with tight-fitting lids.
If possible, keep pet cats inside the house. Keeping the pets in fenced yards is a good idea, but people should also be aware that a coyote is capable of climbing a fence that is as tall as a man. For this reason, people should keep an eye on their pets at all times if they are outside, particularly at night.
Coyotes may also attack dogs, which they can perceive as a threat, so make sure that you walk your dogs on a leash so you can better control any interactions with a marauding coyote. Don’t let pet dogs run loose in open areas. This invites attacks by coyotes.
Also remember that as with pet cats and dogs, coyotes are vectors for rabies and other diseases. Make sure that your pet’s shots are up to date.
Small children are also at risk and should be taught what to do if they see a coyote. Mainly, that is to yell, raise their arms to look larger and to slowly back away from the animal, without turning and running. A child should immediately tell an adult if they encounter one of these creatures.
In the event that a coyote is seen that displays aggressive behavior, Colorado Parks and Wildlife should be contacted so a report can be filed. The phone number is 303-291-7227 for those in the Boulder area.
The Colorado Parks and Wildlife also has additional information on how to deal with wildlife encounters on their website.
Though the advisory was released specifically for the people living in and near Boulder, Colorado, the information is valid for anyone who lives in an area where coyotes are seen. It is in the public’s best interest to know this information so they know what to do in advance, should they encounter coyotes. The CPW information mentioned above also gives good information on dealing with encounters with other wildlife as well.