20 Jun Coyote Encounters On The Rise In Urban Areas
Photo: Alan Berning (Flickr)
The Department of Natural Resources says thanks to urban expansion, coyote encounters with people are more common than ever before. Unlike wolves, whose numbers decreased greatly as a result of urbanization, coyotes have proven to be incredibly adaptive to human environments. However, according to the DNR, most maintain their wild diet and remain afraid of humans.
Indiana DNR wildlife biologist Megan Dillon says coyotes, for the most part, aren’t anything to worry about, even though they may boast a not-so-nice-reputation.
“Coyotes are perceived as a nuisance for fairly different reasons,” Dillon says. “It’s not necessarily because we have way too many of them or because they’re causing an extraordinary amount of damage, it’s more so because of the public perception.”
Dillon says if a coyote is perceived to be a nuisance, a landowner is allowed to shoot and kill the creature, although whether that’s allowed depends on local firearm ordinances. If the animal isn’t shot during fur-trapping season, the pelt must be handed over within a few days. However, she says not many coyotes are shot in Indiana.
“There’s a lot of pride in this state for the wildlife, so we don’t see a lot of gratuitous taking of nuisance animals,” Dillon says.
Law enforcement officials have seen increased reports of coyote attacks on family pets. The DNR urges pet owners to fence their pets, secure their garbage lids, and never leave pet food out overnight.