Man vs. coy­ote: What you should know about your furry neigh­bors

The more Austin com­mu­ni­ties ex­pand into for­merly wild ar­eas, the higher the chances of run­ning into the coy­otes who live there. Here are five things the city of Austin says you should know:

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE -

1. They’re ac­tive at dawn and dusk

Coy­otes, which use a va­ri­ety of vo­cal­iza­tions to com­mu­ni­cate, can be about 25 to 40 pounds. Be aware of pos­si­ble coy­ote dens in parks or other nat­u­ral ar­eas. Coy­otes are pro­tec­tive of pups and might view peo­ple or dogs as in­ter­lop­ers. Coy­otes are most ter­ri­to­rial from Jan­uary to June when they den, mate with other coy­otes and birth pups.

2. They eat prey and left­overs

Coy­otes pri­mar­ily hunt small mam­mals such as mice, rats and rab­bits, but small house pets are vul­ner­a­ble if left alone. They also scav­enge for hu­man and pet food left out­doors as well as for fruits and berries.

3. Elim­i­nate out­door food sources

That means, keep­ing trash and com­post in a se­cure bin and clear­ing fallen fruit from un­der fruit trees. If you feed pets out­side, bring any of their un­eaten food in­side.

4. They’re nat­u­rally wary

Haz­ing — such as wav­ing your arms, shout­ing, throw­ing ob­jects in its di­rec­tion (but not at it), or spray­ing it with a hose — can re­in­force a coy­ote’s wari­ness in en­coun­ters with­out harm­ing it. Avoid haz­ing, though, if the coy­ote is sick, in­jured, with pups or out at night.

5. Go on­line for more info

For more tips on haz­ing and pet safety, visit austin­texas. gov/depart­ment/coy­otes-cen­tral-texas. For im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance, call 311.

TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPART­MENT

Coy­otes are most ter­ri­to­rial be­tween Jan­uary and June, when they den and mate.

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