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Backyard Bullies

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Anyone in the town of Erie has probably heard about the increase in coyote encounters across the town these past few months.

With all the stories of resident’s pets being attacked in their own backyards, it certainly feels like coyotes have multiplied in the area recently. However, Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer Kristin Cannon said, “There are no stats to tell if the coyote population has actually increased or not.” However, Cannon did say there has been an, “increase in activity and attacks by coyotes in the town.” She also mentioned that this spike in coyote activity isn’t the first time it has happened. “This is the most activity I have seen in 10 (or) 15 years,” Cannon said.

So with the increase in coyote aggression a lot of people are asking if there is anything they can do to deter coyotes from their property and keep their pets safe. Cannon advised for people to, “Keep garbage and pet food indoors,” to keep from attracting coyotes to their property. However if you spot a coyote on or around your property Cannon suggested a technique she referred to as, “hazing, (which is) making the coyote feel uneasy around humans”. She said somethings you can do if you see a coyote include, “banging pots and pans and yelling at it.” Finally for pet owners in Erie, Cannon gave a few guidelines to follow saying, “Don’t let your pets out unsupervised. Be especially careful if your house is on the golf course or around open space because it is easy for them (coyotes) to spot animals and enter into backyards from these areas. Always take pets out on a six foot leash at dusk and dawn, (it’s) when coyotes are most active.”

Coyotes are here to stay and with the increase in housing within the towns open space, coyote attacks could continue to rise among pet owners. As a town resident, do what you can to deter coyotes, keep pets safe, and be aware. Follow the hazing and deterrence tips provided by the Colorado Division of Wildlife and give them a call if you have a concern about coyotes in your area.

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