Never Feed Coyotes
Lakewood Village has a rich wildlife living in and around our town. Everything from deer and wild turkey, to coyotes and even a few reports of mountain lion sightings. In the last few weeks reports of sightings and people being approached by coyotes have increased. They are most commonly seen at dawn and dusk; however, they can be active at any time of the day or night. The coyote's position as the top predator living in this area means they provide a great benefit. Their diets are dominated by small mammals i.e. rats, mice, opossum, and skunks. They will also eat snakes, insects, and carrion. Coyotes are extremely curious, and adaptable. They quickly learn to take advantage of any newly discovered food source. NEVER FEED COYOTES.
Coyotes have a natural fear of humans and are not interested in confronting people. They are not dangerous to humans unless you attempt to feed or interact with them. A coyote that will not be scared away, or approaches you aggressively, has lost its fear of people. This is most often the result of someone feeding it. If this occurs, the individual coyote will most likely need to be trapped and killed. NEVER FEED COYOTES. We all enjoy wildlife and feeding the coyotes can seem like fun, however, you will be signing a death sentence for that animal. The coyote will depend more on the humans feeding them and will hunt less. This will also make the animal more bold around humans and more aggressive. You will be exposing yourself, your neighbors, and pets to danger. Coyotes cannot tell the difference between their natural prey and our small pets. They will prey on cats; however, they will only attack a dog if they view it to be a threat to their territory, mate, or young. Coyotes view dogs as competition, not as prey.
There are some basic things you can do to protect yourself from a coyote who approaches you. Make yourself appear as large as possible; stand-up if you are sitting, hold your arms out from your body. Yell in a loud, deep voice. Never turn your back on a coyote that is threatening you and do not run. Make exaggerated movements like waving your arms and yell loudly while slowly moving toward safety.
To discourage coyotes from coming around your property remove anything outside your home that may be attracting them. This includes garbage, and pet food that can attract the rodents that coyotes eat. NEVER FEED COYOTES. Encourage your neighbors not to feed coyotes or leave anything out that might attract the animals. Feed your pets inside, and never leave small pets or cats outside unattended. Secure garbage containers.
By taking just a few measures and using a little common sense we can live peacefully with the wildlife around us.