Some people in the metro Birmingham area have been seeing more coyotes lately. In fact several people in our newsroom have seen one up here on Red Mountain outside the station.
So what are you supposed to do if you see one? Should you be concerned and who do you call?
According to Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences it's extremely rare for a coyote traveling alone to attack anything larger than a mole or a rabbit. Larger coyotes have been known to attack small pets, but attacks on humans, of any age, is virtually unheard of.
But with that said some people are still concerned, like Kathryn Romanchuk who has a small pet. "The second we hear a noise we are nervous now. And I've lived here for five years and have not been afraid of anything," said Romanchuk.
On Thursday Romanchuk and her neighbors saw the coyote four times. "I've started coming out here armed with a phone and flashlight and I will scan the woods first before I sit here and let her do her thing in the evenings."
A far cry from what folks who live here are used to. On any given night you would find Romanchuk and her neighbors sitting outside their apartments, letting their dogs work off some energy, but not anymore. "Something could run out of the woods, the hills right here and it could be a coyote and one of our little angels just gone."
They want the city to remove the coyote before their fears become reality. "I don't know how easy of an answer that would be considering the growth and the developments in the areas pushing these poor little animals into our habitat," said Romanchuk. "It's our fault but I just want them gone. I want to know there's not one bedded down in the woods."
According to the experts at Auburn relocating coyotes only moves the problem somewhere else. It also leaves an opening for other coyotes to move in.
Auburn University's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences even put together a web page on coyotes and ways to minimize your contact with coyotes. The site says typically, they eat small mammals and fruit, but a nice bowl of Alpo on your porch is certainly not out of the question.
To discourage coyotes from entering your property: secure pet food, keep small pets indoors or in some kind of enclosure at night, make sure trash cans are inaccessible, keep your grill clean, and of course never ever feed a coyote.
If you are still concerned call police and they will contact the necessary agency.
Copyright 2011 WBRC. All rights reserved.
1720 Valley View Drive