Coyotes

  •    Carry Rabies
  •    Favorite food is domestic cat
  •    Will attack dogs and farm animals
  •     Known to dig dens under homes and or buildings for their young

Where did coyotes come from?

Coyotes were once found only in the mid-western portion of North America. But as Europeans settled across the country, subsequent landscape changes, coupled with elimination of wolves, allowed the coyote to expand its range toward the eastern United States. By the 1980s coyotes started to appear in western North Carolina as a result of natural range expansion from our neighboring states. Coyotes are now established in all 100 counties of North Carolina and live in many towns.

What do coyotes look like?
Often described as a “mangy-looking dog,” coyotes weigh 20–45 pounds ( similar to a mid-sized dog) with, typically, reddish to dark gray thick fur. They have long slender snouts,
a bushy tail, and pointed ears.

Do they make noise?
Yes, coyotes howl. While some find it unnerving, this howl serves many purposes, none of which are malicious. If you hear a family of coyotes howling, it is easy to think that the
area is overflowing with coyotes. In reality, there are usually only 2–6 coyotes, including the pups.

Will coyotes attack me or my child?
Attacks on people, including children, are extremely rare. Normal coyote behavior is to be curious, but wary, when close to humans. Like other wildlife, they will become bold and habituated if people feed them, either purposely or inadvertently, such as with garbage or outdoor pet food. They rarely contract rabies.

Will coyotes attack my pet?
Possibly. Coyotes view outdoor cats and small unleashed dogs as prey, while larger dogs are viewed as threats to their territory and/or their pups. Coyotes are most likely to confront larger dogs during the mating and pup birthing period, January through June.

What should I do if I see a coyote?
Simply seeing a coyote is not cause for alarm. If you see a coyote frequently, you and your neighbors should take steps to prevent conflicts with it and other wildlife.

Next Steps…

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