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Environment & Nature

Keep An Eye Out For Coyotes In Dallas. Here’s What To Do If You Spot One.

Coyote in grassy area after dark.
Oliver Brooks
/
Shutterstock
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says coyotes are not a human safety risk. Coyote attacks on people are extremely rare and the animals are generally afraid of people.

Reports of coyote sightings around the city of Dallas have increased in recent weeks — but don’t fear. Dallas Animal Services has tips on what residents should do if they see a coyote near their home and how to help keep them away.

Though coyotes generally avoid humans, North Texans usually notice more of these creatures roaming their neighborhoods in the fall, according to Dallas Animal Services (DAS). But if you see one, it’s important not to freak out.

“The best thing to do would be to haze it,” Ann Barnes, a field manager with DAS, said. “It reminds a coyote that you're bigger and scarier than it is.”

Hazing coyotes means picking up an object and throwing it at them, making noise like whistling and talking loud — all without touching or injuring the animal. The key is to reinstate fear.

Why are there more of these animals in urban areas this time of year?

The uptick is due to baby coyotes becoming more active and beginning to explore new spaces, and mama coyotes searching for food to support their newborn pups.

“They come to the city because it's easy food sources," Barnes said. "They're kind of lazy when it comes to getting food. They rather get garbage or your pets’ food.”

There are also some things Barnes says you can do to keep coyotes away:

  • Remove all outdoor pet food
  • Keep outdoors trash bins secured and shut 
  • Keep pets inside or on a leash or harness whenever they're outside
  • Haze coyotes away from homes and businesses

Learn more about coyote interactions and hazing methods on the DAS website. 

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member and writes about the impact of COVID-19 on underserved communities for KERA News. Email Alejandra at amartinez@kera.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @alereports.

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