The Lafayette Parish Animal Shelter & Care Center, says they’ve received plenty of calls of coyote sightings.
According to officials, coyotes are most active around this time as they prepare for winter. Officials say some coyotes are raising their pups right now and can be more territorial. Most are looking for food.
However, animal aid officials say they’re not a threat to humans. Coyotes normally prey on smaller animals. It’s something Lafayette resident Patrick Faulk is experiencing.
“They’ve begun charging when we take our dog outside to go to the restroom,” Faulk said. “They’ve been trying to get to my wife and I and the dog when we walk him at night.”
Faulk added that he and his family try not to go outside very often.
“It’s a large pack and it could outnumber anyone of us.”
Officials add that you shouldn’t be afraid of the animals and have provided the following tips.
- Coyotes generally avoid humans and coyote attacks on people are very rare.
- Coyotes are generally nocturnal and seldom seen, although you may catch a glimpse of them during the daylight when they are moving from one part of their territory to another in search of prey.
- Most adult coyotes only weigh about 20-35lbs. They have a long slender snout, yellow eyes, and usually a black-tipped tail.
- Coyotes serve an important role in ecosystems by helping control the population of rodents, rabbits, and some urban animals. They are omnivores feeding on these animals as well as fruits and berries
Protecting yourself and your pets:
- Do not deliberately feed coyotes. This is a surefire way of getting them accustomed to people and ultimately lead to their demise.
- Avoid feeding pets outside. If you must, feed them at a specific time during the day (for no more than one hour) and remove the food bowl as soon as your pet is finished its meal.
- Keep trash in high-quality containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Remove freshly fallen fruit from the ground.
- Watch your pets. Keep cats indoors and never leave small dogs outside unsupervised.
- Protect poultry and other outdoor animals from coyotes with protective fencing and be ensuring they are confined in sturdy cages or pens each evening.
What to do if you see a coyote:
- Relax: Most coyotes avoid people. When they notice you, they will leave.
- Without the lure of food or other attractants, their visits will be brief and rare.
- Hazing entails using a variety of scare techniques to teach a coyote to regard people as threatening and stay away from them. Hazing can include making loud noises, spraying water, shining bright lights, throwing objects, and shouting.