Coyotes are Active This Time of Year
With late winter comes the arrival of coyote breeding season. This also means that coyote activity is on the rise. Recent reports of aggressive coyote behavior toward larger dogs is evidence that residents should be aware of the potential threat posed by these animals.
Coyotes are amazingly adaptable, and can survive in nearly any habitat. They arrived in the 1970s and have found a home in parks and preserves, and wooded areas that surround many residential areas. Pinellas County has a message for residents: Take precautions to deter coyote presence around the home.
"As long as residents keep wildlife wild and do not provide easy meals to them, they should not pose a threat to people," said Dr. Welch Agnew, director of Pinellas County Animal Services. "The problem comes when people start leaving food outside their homes, or leave trash available, or allow their cats and dogs to roam the neighborhood. Then, we are providing easy meals to wild coyotes, inviting them into our areas, and encouraging them to lose their natural fear of humans."
The county offers the following simple precautions to prevent the threat of coyotes:
Report a coyote sighting at http://www.pinellascounty.org/forms/coyote_form.html and enter the requested information. To view a map of recent coyote activity, visit http://www.pinellascounty.org/animalservices/coyote-map.html. Report any coyote threats to people or pets to Animal Services at (727) 582-2600. Residents can obtain a copy of the coyote safety brochure by visiting Pinellas County Animal Services.
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