Tips To Avoid Coyote Attacks

(Brooksville, FL) — Urban coyote sightings are a growing concern among Hernando County residents. The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) advises that coyotes can be found throughout Florida and play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to keep rodent populations under control. Additionally, coyotes will eat whatever is available, including fruits, nuts, seeds, dead animals, rodents, garbage, pet food, domestic cats and small dogs. Problems can be significantly reduced by removing attractants and securing trash.

“As residents, our actions or lack thereof, is what leads to attracting coyotes to our neighborhoods,” Commissioner James Adkins said. “We should act responsibly and reduce the risk by putting trash in containers with lids and keeping pets on leashes or indoors, as these all provide a food source to coyotes.”

According to FWC, unusual behavior for coyotes includes approaching people, stalking pets, chasing joggers or bikers or attacking leashed pets. Experts recommend frightening away the coyote by making loud noises and acting
aggressively. Here are some tips:

* Yell, shout, scream
* Wave your arms in the air
* Throw sticks
* Spray it with a hose

(Note: Do not attempt to hurt it because injured animals are more likely to attack.)

Other tips include:

* Be careful when walking your pet in heavily wooded or foliaged areas
* Keep pets on short leashes
* Don’t allow pets to roam freely
* Know that attacks occur mostly at night or at dusk
* Do not turn your back or run away from a coyote
* Teach children how to recognize a coyote
* Teach children to move slowly into a house or climb on a swing, tree or deck and yell
* Do not attempt to pet a coyote
* Do not place food outdoors
* Clean up food, fruit, seeds and secure garbage cans and use animal-proof
containers for compost