Info Credit- The Daily Independent
Kismeth Blevins, who lives in the Debord Terrace housing complex above 29th Street says she has been seeing and hearing coyotes in her neighborhood for some time.
She’s also frustrated with the fact that no one seems to be concerned about it and no one is willing to address the problem. She’s especially concerned about the threat posed to pets, but short of launching a hunt for the coyotes, the city is limited in what it can do or even should do.
Trying to get rid of the animals would not work, said Laura Palmer, a wildlife biologist with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. “It would be nearly impossible to get them out of the woods. “They’re resilient, for one thing. And new ones would move in.”
Repeated efforts in the western United States, where coyote populations have been viewed as a nuisance for decades, have been fruitless, she said. The animals adapt by breeding earlier and producing larger litters and populations remain stable.
Jump to our post “How to Keep Your Pets Safe from Coyotes”
The potential danger from urban coyotes comes from feeding them, whether on purpose or by leaving food sources where the animals can get them, Palmer said. Coyotes will eat unattended pet food and rats, mice and other small animals that are attracted to pet food, she said.
If people are feeding feral cats, for instance, coyotes may prey on the cats. It also is not usual for people with pets who do not live indoors to leave food and water out for them.
In summary, this appears to be a problem that comes with living in the city in the center of a rural setting. We live in the city but forget how close we are to true wilderness.
Because of its hilly terrain, Ashland has many areas that are undeveloped and difficult to get to. Such areas attract wildlife, including many deer, rabbits, raccoons, wildcats and coyotes. For the most part, these animals don’t intermingle with humans and only want to be left alone. But they can be pests and threatens dogs and cats and maybe even children. The situation is definitely worth monitoring and Blevins’ concerns are absolutely legitimate. The truth, however, is this would be a difficult problem to solve without expending a lot of time, energy and resources.
If you haven’t heard yet….
Coyotes are creeping into the urbanized areas in the USA-
as we are moving into their forested areas.
And although they don’t typically attack humans, your pets may be at risk. They may view a large dog as a rival, and since a cat is such a small animal, they could be viewed as prey. This would hold true also for small dogs. It is suggested that you should NOT leave your pet out doors unsupervised. The most important times to recognize this are at dusk, dawn or overnight. You should definitely keep cats indoors and dogs on a leash. Your trash should most certainly be kept under a tight lid– and not left exposed in any way to a roaming coyote. If you have any fallen fruit from your fruit trees– that should be picked up! Be aware of any areas you have that they could use as a den. For example close up open areas under your deck. To proactively keep them out– installing a fence is one tactic you could take. Fences should be 6 feet tall, to prevent them from just jumping right over.. and 18 inches deep to keep them from digging underneath.
WORRIED ABOUT COYOTES?
IF YOU ENCOUNTER A COYOTE:
Don’t turn your back, and don’t run. They might chase you and they can run up to 40 mph.
If the coyote moves closer use the method known as “hazing.”
Blow a very loud whistle.
Clap hands loudly and stomp feet.
Throw sticks or rocks at their feet.
If you don’t have anything available, act large ie. open your jacket, raise your arms and yell.
Don’t engage a coyote that is cornered, injured or with pups – instead slowly walk away backwards.
Follow all of these tips to keep you and your pet safe.