Coyotes generally avoid contact with humans but they may perceive small pets as potential prey. Here are some helpful tips to avoid negative interactions between coyotes and your family and pets.
- Never feed coyotes. Feeding endangers your family and neighbors as it lures coyotes into neighborhoods.
- Keep unattended cats and dogs indoors or in completely enclosed runs, especially at night, and do not assume that a fence will keep a coyote out of your back yard.
- Accompany your leashed pet outside. Make sure you turn on lights if it is dark to check your back yard for unexpected wildlife.
- Keep dogs on short leashes, no longer than 6 feet, while walking outside.
- Keep noisemakers, whistles and horns, on hand to scare away coyotes that may enter your yard.
- Don't run away or turn your back on a coyote.
- Do not allow a coyote to get in between you and your pet or child - keep children close to you.
- Yell, clap hands, blow a whistle and try to make yourself look larger if you have a close encounter with a coyote.
If you sight a coyote, note where and when you had the encounter with a coyote. Coyotes often follow routines. Avoid this area in the future if the encounter was negative. Habituated coyotes are sometimes a neighborhood issue. Work with your neighbors in the area to make sure attractants such as fallen fruit, pet food left outside, dirty barbecue grills, and unsecured trash or compost are removed so that negative coyote interactions are minimized. NEVER intentionally feed coyotes.
For further information on coyote activity, visit www.urbancoyoteresearch.com.
Residents who have questions can contact the Prospect Heights Police Department at 847-870-5656.