Small Pets Prone To Coyote Attacks - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Small Pets Prone To Coyote Attacks

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As the urban area expands farther into the wilderness, so does the chance of having a run-in with a wild animal, such as a bear.

But coyotes are also raising concern for some residents.

Channel 2 News has received numerous phone calls, over the past few months, of coyotes getting into backyards and attacking people's pets.

But Chris Healy, of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, says there is nothing unusual about it.

"They can be problems if the coyotes are desperately hungry and you live in one of those urban interface areas," Healy said. "The coyotes don't see your small pet as your small pet. They can see it as their next meal."

The Truckee Meadows is no stranger to wild animals.

You can typically find deer along the Truckee River, along with rabbits and geese.

But those aren't the ones that usually get people on edge.

"You're always going to be aware of bears, mountain lions, and coyotes because that's one of the joys of living in Northern Nevada but it's also one of the precautions you have to take," Healy said.

Those precautions might even be more necessary for houses with backyards just feet away from the wilderness.

And just because you don't see the coyotes, doesn't mean they're not there.

"The weather like this, I think it makes the coyotes a little more visible but they're here all the time," Healy said. "They've adapted well to what we've done to the Truckee Meadows and they're on the edges, constantly."

Losing your small pet or even livestock to a coyote might seem unlikely, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.

"We have lots of coyotes and this rarely happens," Healy said. "So, if you live out there, one, you may be a victim of bad luck but, two, you've got to pay attention because the coyotes are going to be ever present."

While coyotes are always looking for their next meal, wildlife officials say just try not to make it easy for them.

It's a good idea to keep an eye on your pets, and also make sure your house is secure.

"Don't forget that if you have a dog door, well guess what," Healy said. "A coyote can go through your dog door, too, and we've actually heard instances of that happening. So, be aware of that."

Officials tell us, this kind of thing actually could be more likely during the dry summer months than during the winter.

Last summer, they had to put four coyotes down, in the Spanish Springs area, for incidents in residential areas.

Written by Paul Nelson
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