An increase in coyote sightings has been reported around Algood.
TWRA Outreach and Communications Coordinator Mime Barnes said that the sightings are not unusual for this time of year. She said that this is the time of year when coyotes tend to be more active.
“Not only is it mating season for coyotes, but this is also a time of extreme temperatures for us,” Barnes said. “And coyotes are moving about because it’s mating season but also probably looking for meals.”
Barnes said that if you come across a coyote, back away slowly and don’t run. She said it’s also best to not leave pets unattended outside and take them on a leash.
“And it’s not that they want to eat our cats and dogs, but they do see them as a threat to their territory,” Barnes said. “It’s another predator that they have to compete with within their territory. So a coyote, a red fox, a gray fox, they’re territorial animals and they will want to remove those threats from within their territory.”
Barnes said that the worst thing someone can do is stop and stare or take photos. She said that that can make animals grow accustomed to humans and think they’re safe.
“The worst thing someone can do is allow wildlife to think that they’re safe and feeding wildlife,” “It’s okay to feed backyard birds, but never should we be feeding mammals. We don’t want to attract mammals towards humans, we want to keep people and wildlife safe. So on the contrary, we want to dissuade animals and get them moving the opposite direction of humans.”
Barnes said that animal attractants such as trash cans or bird feeders could increase coyote activity in the area. She said that sightings or hearing howls are indicative of activity. Barnes said that coyote howls will sound similar to yodels. She said that sometimes the howl of a single coyote can sound like three coyotes, making people think there is a bigger pack.