Hide your pets, coyotes on the prowl
By Jonathan Menard - Aug 15, 2013
Coyotes have been spotted across St. Charles Parish, which means residents should keep small pets indoors and secure their trash.
St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said the most recent sightings have occurred in Sellers Subdivision in Ama, particularly on Bernard Street.
“We are urging everyone in the Ama area to take precautions if you have small pets. In fact this holds true for everyone, everywhere,” Champagne said. “There is no area of St. Charles Parish that coyotes have not been seen over time.”
Angie Robert, the director of Animal Control, said coyotes are here to stay and that residents should not approach them.
“They are always going to be here, but you shouldn’t approach if you see one because they carry diseases,” Robert said.
Construction across the parish has drawn coyotes out of their natural habitat and into neighborhoods. When coyotes search for food, they often target small pets.
“The coyote doesn’t know that it’s taking Fluffy, your pet,” Robert said. “That is a meal to them and pets that are outside become a part of the food chain. Pets need to be kept inside.”
But it’s not just small pets that coyotes are after. Robert said she has seen a situation where coyotes took a medium-sized pit bull.
“They are pack animals so it doesn’t really matter how big the animal is,” she said. “These are situations where you have five to seven coyotes going after one pet.”
Robert said the best thing residents can do to get rid of coyotes is scare them by yelling when they are spotted. Coyotes fear humans, Robert said, and will run away if they are threatened.
Robert said another helpful tip could keep coyotes from a person’s yard. When the animals targeted Robert’s trash bin,she used mouse traps to keep them away.
“I set mouse traps and turned them upside down near the trash so that they wouldn’t hurt the coyotes, but would scare them when they went off,” she said. “It’s been a month and a half and my trash bin hasn’t been messed with.”
Robert warns that residents shouldn’t kill coyotes. She cites a study showing that when coyotes feel their population is dwindling, coyotes give birth to more females in order to build the population back up.
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