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Coyotes in Growing Numbers

Posted on the 15 August 2013 by Candornews @CandorNews

Image from www.dispatch.com

Image from http://www.dispatch.com

The coyote is an adaptable creature; omnivorous, and able to survive in pretty much any environment from rural to urban. It is not a native creature to Ohio and yet it can still be found in every one of the state’s counties, and their numbers are growing quickly.

At two feet tall and three to four feet long, the coyote is smaller than a wolf and also less aggressive. Coyotes are curious by nature, but are unlikely to attack unless provoked or protecting young. Even so, this creatures’ growing presence presents a safety concern for people as well as farm livestock and pets. Coyotes eat a variety of things from small animals to nuts and berries. They are most active during dawn and dusk, but have been spotted by hikers and joggers in parks and wooded areas during daytime hours.

Like most wild creatures, it is easy to deter the coyote from visiting your home or backyard. Clean around grilling areas and remove pet food, bird seed, and garbage from outside area. Coyotes will smell these things and learn that the area is a food source. During breeding seasons, keep a close eye on pets, as coyotes are more likely to attack in order to protect their young during this time.

If a coyote is spotted, first be sure that it is actually a coyote and not a large dog. Then call the appropriate authorities and report the animal. The Division of Wildlife can trap problem animals and remove them from the area. If confronted by a coyote while out walking or jogging, the easiest way to make it leave is to clap your hands or make other loud noises. When coyote activity is higher, it is best to keep a close eye on pets and do not let them out unsupervised at night. Guard animals like large dogs and donkeys can protect farm livestock from being preyed on. There are also hunting laws in more rural areas to control the creature, but proper hunting procedure and regulations still apply.

The growing presence of the coyote in Ohio isn’t necessarily invasive or incredibly dangerous to people and pets if proper caution is used. However, for both the safety of people and for the safety of the coyote, it is still necessary to monitor the population and give this wild animal the space and respect it deserves.

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