If You See a Coyote in Alexandria…

Howling Coyote

What to do with your pets if you see a coyote in your neighborhood

Apparently, coyotes are becoming more and more prevalent in Fairfax County, our next door neighbor in Alexandria, Virginia. So much so, the Fairfax County Police Department put out these coyote awareness tips.

Via FCPD

Wildlife officials have experienced an increase in the number of calls reporting coyotes in recent months across Fairfax County. Coyotes are now established and widespread in Fairfax County so it is important for residents to know and understand a bit more about them.

Coyotes are opportunistic foragers with diverse diets that commonly prey on small animals such as mice, rats, voles and rabbits but will also readily eat fruits, plants and carrion. Coyotes may mistake small, unattended pets including cats and small dogs as prey due to their similar size to natural prey. Coyotes are territorial and may view larger dogs as potential competitors, particularly from January to June while mating and birthing pups.

“The best way to safeguard pets in areas where are coyotes are active is to keep them indoors and do not leave them outside without supervision,” stated Dr. Katherine Edwards, Fairfax County Wildlife Management Specialist.

Most coyote encounters in residential areas stem from attractants in the form of available food or den sites. In urban areas, garbage, compost and pet food may become alternative food sources. Feeding or unintentionally providing a food source for coyotes is a primary concern by wildlife biologists as these actions may result in coyotes becoming less wary of humans or cause them to display bold and aggressive behaviors as a consequence of being fed.

Read more at this link.