Coyote sighting prompts pet advisories

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on Feb 20, 2013 in Rat Answers | Subscribe

By MICHAEL HALL The Brunswick News

Do not expect to see the Road Runner any time soon in Glynn County, but a coyote sighting may not be out of the question.

Dispatchers received a call last week that a dog had been attacked by a coyote on Saddle Brooke Trace in northern Glynn County.

It was a call David Mixon of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division said is rare.

Coyotes do live in Glynn County, he said, but they rarely interact with human beings or their pets.

“They are very secretive animals,” Mixon said.

But not so secretive that they stay away from people completely.

Coyotes have been known over the past several decades to live in suburban, and even urban, areas like Chicago and the counties surrounding it, Mixon said.

So it is no surprise that people in Glynn County may sometimes hear the cries of coyotes at night.

Their mere presence should not raise any alarms, though, Mixon said.

“It’s not something I would be too worried about,” he said.

Coyotes tend to travel in family packs and primarily feed on rodents such as rats or rabbits, he said.

“If you are a rat or a rabbit, one coyote is way too many,” Mixon said.

Even in populated areas where pets may come in close proximity with coyotes, Mixon said there are very few instances of dogs or cats being killed by the predators.

Homeowners or neighborhood associations can call private wildlife removal companies to deal with a coyote if one were to become a problem in a subdivision or more populated area, Mixon said.

Although chances of losing a pet are slim, Mixon suggested pet owners take a few precautions with their animals.

Mixon said small house dogs that spend most of their time indoors may require closer supervision when outside, especially in the more rural areas, to ensure they don’t wander off and get lost in the woods where coyotes may be roaming.

It is not likely, but coyotes may turn their eyes on a pet if they are hungry enough and the pet presents an easy meal, Mixon said.

He also strongly encourages all pet owners to keep their dogs and cats up to date on all vaccines so that they will be protected from contracting diseases from coyotes or any other wild animal.

Foxes also live in Glynn County, Mixon said, but like coyotes, they do not often interact with humans.

Raccoons actually present more danger to most pets because they are more likely to live in densely populated areas and to carry diseases like rabies, Mixon said.

“All pet owners should keep their pets up on all of their shots as a precaution,” Mixon said.

* Reporter Michael Hall writes about public safety, environment and other local topics. Contact him at mhall@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 320.

Article source: http://www.thebrunswicknews.com/open_access/local_news/COYOTES-022013-stk-GJ-hr

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