The video is terrifying. A security camera catches a coyote attacking a two-year-old in a Los Angeles neighborhood in broad daylight.

This is just the latest incident. A quick google search for "coyote attacks toddler" will pull up numerous incidents. Many of those incidents have occurred right here in Texas. Not only do coyotes attack small children, they main and kill countless beloved family pets.

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Coyotes can also be lethal to livestock and pets. They have been clocked at over 35 miles an hour by ranchers in Texas. A 30-pound coyote can kill a 200-pound buck.  While wolves were hunted out of many livestock-producing areas, coyotes have persisted.

Coyotes have been found prowling San Angelo neighborhoods, even downtown. They usually prowl at night.  If you see one in open daylight, it usually means something is wrong, like rabies. It's best to call animal control immediately.

Whatever you do, do not feed coyotes in your neighborhood. This causes them to be more aggressive and dangerous. Texas Parks and Wildlife has additional recommendations also.

  • Keep compost piles securely covered; correct composting never includes animal matter like bones or fat, which can draw coyotes even more quickly than decomposing vegetable matter.
  • Keep pets inside, confined securely in a kennel or covered exercise yard, or within the close presence of an adult.
  • Walk pets on a leash and accompany them outside, especially at night.
  • Do not feed wildlife on the ground; keep wild bird seed in feeders designed for birds elevated or hanging above ground, and clean up spilled seed from the ground; coyotes can either be drawn directly to the seed, or to the rodents drawn to the seed.
  • Keep fruit trees fenced or pick up fruit that falls to the ground.
  • Do not feed feral cats (domestics gone wild); this can encourage coyotes to prey on cats, as well as feed on cat food left out for them.
  • Minimize clusters of shrubs, trees, and other cover and food plants near buildings and children's play areas to avoid attracting rodents and small mammals that will in turn attract coyotes
Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash
Photo by Ben Mater on Unsplash
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The natural instinct when it comes to fending off coyotes is to kill them.  In Texas, there is no hunting season for coyotes as they are designated as "non-game" animals. You will need a hunting license. You will also have to be careful with firearms.  Remember, you will be legally responsible for any bullet you fire.

Killing coyotes is not an effective method for minimizing their threat to property, pets and toddlers. Scientific research has shown that killing coyotes won't keep them away. Often, non-lethal methods are more effective long term.

A motion-sensing light is often effective in keeping coyotes away. Air horns can also scare them away.

Photo by Mary Oakey on Unsplash
Photo by Mary Oakey on Unsplash
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It is most important to be vigilant. Coyotes have attacked toddlers in crowded neighborhoods inside Dallas. It just takes a second for a vicious coyote attack to do serious damage to a toddler. Each year around San Angelo, coyotes kill countless pets.  If you love them, keep them indoors at night.

 

 

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Endangered West Texas Animals

Animals we just don't see as much anymore here in West Texas