Coyotes are found in many areas of East Baton Rouge Parish including the City of Baton Rouge. Human and domestic animal contact with Coyotes is therefore, inevitable.
Are Coyotes Dangerous to Humans?
Coyotes are generally not aggressive towards humans. They actually have a natural fear of humans, like most wildlife. Urban coyotes are less afraid of humans than their country kin, but this is mainly because they associate an easy food source with city and town people. Remember and respect them for being the wild animal they are!
Coyotes appear mainly after dark but are also found to be active on occasion during daylight hours.
Are Coyotes Dangerous to Pets?
It depends on their food source. If they have a steady source of natural food, and a large territory, they will generally not prey upon or act aggressively towards pets. However, in urban settings the intense competition for food will make coyotes become more opportunistic feeders. Cats are in danger of coyotes, whereas dogs are competition and not prey. Coyotes will act aggressively to defend their territory.
What can I do to Discourage Coyotes?
- Do not leave food sources out! This includes dog, cat or any other food. Coyotes will eat almost anything to sustain life.
- Do not let your cats roam outside, especially at night. They are easy prey to a coyote.
- Keep your dog on a leash or watch them very closely.
- Secure small animals, especially rabbits, fowl, hamsters etc.
- Never turn your pet loose at night. Remember to obey the leash law at all times.
- Use motion detectors or lights in dark areas.
- Fencing can be effective if it is high enough.
- Do not ever feed wildlife, especially coyotes. They will lose their natural fear of humans.
- Remove or relocate bird feeders, so that Coyotes cannot get to the birds or food.
- Cover and dispose of garbage and food scraps in a secured manner. Cover garbage cans securely.
- Repair any damage to your house, so no prey animals i.e. rats, squirrels, possums etc. are not present.
- Place skirting around elevated houses, trailers etc. and keep it maintained.
- Keep debris cleared and grass mowed to eliminate prey habitat.
- Hazing. This is a process of scaring a coyote away or preventing it from causing a nuisance though undesirable behavior. It will also reinforce the coyote’s natural fear of humans.
If a coyote has not been hazed before, he may not react to it immediately and run away. Persist with your efforts if this occurs.
Hazing a coyote
- Yell and wave your arms while approaching the coyote. Increase intensity, as you go.
- Use any type of noise making device, whistle, air horns, shakers or pots, lids or garbage can lids etc. banged together.
- Throw objects, projectiles, stones, sticks, tennis balls, etc.
- Use other methods, such as water hoses, fire-extinguishers, bear repellant, etc.
If a Coyote has not been hazed before, he may not react to it immediately and run away when you yell at him. If this happens, you may need to walk towards the coyote and increase the intensity of your hazing, as you go. The coyote may run away, but then stop and look at you. It is important to continue to go after the coyote until he completely leaves the area. Use different techniques to run him off, if necessary.
A successfully hazed coyote may return. Continue the hazing, as it generally takes one or two hazings to keep the animal away permanently.
If they are within 50 feet of you, do not bend down to pick up your pet. This will make you look small and scared. Keep your pet close to you and haze.
Are Coyotes here to stay?
Generally, yes. They have adapted to the urban environment here and around the nation. This due to an abundant food and shelter source. Most coyotes prey on rabbits, mice etc. but in urban environments they prey on plentiful supplies of ducks, squirrels, geese eggs, garbage etc. Small urban pets are easy prey too.
Eradication programs in cities have resulted in prolonged and expensive failures. The eradication efforts may get rid of the individual animals, but the coyotes habitat remains. New coyotes will move into the area to take the place of the eradicated coyote. Other coyotes will quickly move into the area to take advantage of the bountiful food and shelter sources. Eradication efforts like hunting and trapping are effective ways to get rid of troublesome or dangerous animals but will not completely rid the area of all coyotes.
If residents follow the simple steps and recommendations above, they can significantly reduce the risk that they
nor their pets will have a negative encounter with a coyote.
What can Animal Control & Rescue do to help?
The single best way for a homeowners organization or an individual to deal with coyotes that they feel must simply be removed, is to hire a professional wildlife nuisance abatement company, a pest control company or a professional trapper. They can be found on the internet or yellow pages and do charge for their services. Animal Control and Rescue also has the names of several organizations. Call us at 225-774-7700!
You may also want to call the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries at 1-800-256-2749 or (225) 765-2800, for further guidance.
If you are bitten by a coyote or any wild animal, you must call Animal Control and Rescue and your physician immediately. Sick or injured coyotes should also be reported to the Animal Control and Rescue Center.