Apr 29, 2010 2:28 PM

Coyotes become more active in spring

The Colorado Division of Wildlife is asking people to take precautions in coyote country. From coyote attacks on pets to aggressive coyotes approaching people, the Division is receiving increasing calls about coyote activity.

"Spring is denning season for coyotes and with new pups in the dens, coyotes will behave more aggressively," explained John Broderick, Terrestrial Program Manager for the Division of Wildlife. "When you put defensive coyotes trying to feed their young into the mix with lots of people heading outdoors to enjoy the warming weather, you get the right mix for potential problems."

The DOW wants to caution people about encounters with coyotes. These are not pets. They are wild animals that are predators, and they should be treated with caution and respect.

The coyote is a member of the dog family. It resembles a small German shepherd with the exception of the long snout and bushy, black-tipped tail. Coyotes are extremely adaptable and resourceful, and can survive on whatever food is available. They prey on rabbits, mice, birds and other small animals, as well as young deer and sheep. In urban areas, coyotes have attacked small pets - cats and dogs included - particularly when pets are allowed to roam free or left out in yards overnight. A typical coyote weighs about 30 lbs.

Coyote home ranges can include urban areas such as the downtown Denver corridor. From feeding on pets in the urban environment to more natural prey in canyon, sage and forest lands, coyotes are common around the state.

Encounters with aggressive coyotes should be reported to the nearest Colorado Division of Wildlife office.

For more information, get a copy of "Living with Wildlife in Coyote Country" at your local Division of Wildlife office or download it here



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