TELLURIDE, Colo. – Coyotes are fascinating creatures and the ultimate wildlife survivors; but be wary of these clever canids if you see them while hiking or in your neighborhood.
Coyotes will defend their territory and can become aggressive if they feel threatened, explained Mark Caddy, district wildlife manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife in the Telluride area.
“We had a report over the weekend of a coyote getting very close to a woman and her dog on the Bear Creek Trail,” Caddy said. “The behavior is unusual but not unheard of. Attacks on people are exceedingly rare, but if a coyote approaches you or your dog try to scare it off.”
Here are some tips for living in coyote country:
Keep your dog on a leash.
Never let your dog “play” with coyotes. It’s usually an unfortunate trap for the pet.
If your dog or cat is small and a coyote approaches, pick up your pet.
Make coyotes feel unwelcome – yell at them, throw things at them, make yourself look big.
Keep an eye on your pet, especially at dawn and dusk.
Never intentionally feed coyotes.
Don’t leave food or water outside for your pets.
If a coyote attacks, fight it off.
If you know coyotes live near your home, trim brush so they don’t have a place to hide in your yard.
If a coyote comes into your yard spray it with water, or a vinegar-filled water gun, yell at it.
Coyotes range in size from 20-50 pounds and live in every county in Colorado. Typically, they eat small rodents, rabbits and fruit. But they are known to take small pets.
If you are concerned about a coyote that you’ve seen, contact the closest CPW wildlife office. For more information, see the “Living with Wildlife” section on the CPW web site at http://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/LivingwithWildlife.aspx.