The Peoria Police Department and Animal Control have received numerous calls regarding unusual coyote behavior near homes, schools and parks.
They are advising residents to be cautious when encountering coyotes and are giving tips on how to discourage the wild animals from entering populated areas.
Experts attribute the increase in coyote encounters to the rise in adolescent coyotes leaving their family den in search of food, water and shelter this time of year. It is thought the inexperienced pups become confused on exactly where to search for these necessities.
Animal Control handles these cases by chasing the coyote out of the area and making them feel unwelcome, but they are also giving the public advice on ways to handle these situations themselves.
First, the public is encouraged to make their homes less appealing to wildlife.
They suggest individuals should try to restrict access to appealing items for wildlife like food, water and shelter. Common items in these categories include unattended pets, pet food, garbage, a pet's water bowl or a swimming pool. Coyotes often use storm drains or any cave-like area beneath a building as shelter, so people are encouraged to limit access to those areas as well.
Also, Animal Control insists if you see a coyote near your home - do not ignore it. This may cause the animal to lose its natural fear of people, which can eventually lead to aggressive behavior.
Instead, they suggest individuals try to scare away the animal by implementing the following tips:
Make loud noises
Shout and bang pots and pans or rattle empty soda cans with pebbles in it
Wave your hands or objects like sticks and brooms
Throw small stones or cans toward, but not directly at the animal
Spray the coyote with a hose
Use a commercial repellent like Mace, if necessary, on bold animals that refuse to leave
For more information on how to deal with encounters with wild animals you can call Maricopa County Animal Care & Control at 602-506-PETS (7378).
For more immediate situations the public is encouraged to call 911.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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