COLORADO SPRINGS — Wildlife officials are reminding dog owners to be cautious, as the summer season tends to bring out more animals, including coyotes.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, coyotes have always been in southern Colorado and are most active at dawn and dusk.
“They can be found everywhere from out in the prairie in the plains, to up in the mountains, to downtown urban areas,” said Cody Wigner, Assistant Area Wildlife Manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife
CPW says they’re one of the most adaptable wildlife species in the world, and it’s not uncommon to see them at any hour of the day.
“We’ve had a couple calls in the last couple weeks of coyotes, but it’s really nothing new. Every summer we get calls of coyotes in and around Colorado Springs, and everywhere across the state. And it’s really not that uncommon for people to see or have some sightings of coyotes,” Wigner said.
Signage in areas like Stratton Open Space remind hikers coyotes are active in the area, and alerting hikers to keep their dogs close on a short non-retractable leash.
“We do have calls every summer of dogs getting into scuffles, or attacked, or even killed by coyotes. And majority of those are dogs that are off-leash or left unattended outside. But it does happen occasionally where those dogs are in very close proximity to people. Then that’s where we tend to step in and try to take some action and inform the public of those coyotes too,” Wigner said.
CPW says since we’re just out of breeding season, coyotes will be territorial and protective of their pups.
Cody Wigner, assistant area wildlife manager, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
“The best way to avoid the conflict would be to avoid a known dense life. So, if you know or think there’s a coyote den, or you hear the coyotes howling, yipping and yapping around there, probably best to avoid that area all together, especially with pets,”
While coyote interactions with pets are rare, CPW says it’s best to avoid high vegetation areas with brush and high grasses.
If a coyote approaches you, CPW recommends:
- Do not run or turn your back
- Be as big and loud as possible
- Wave your arms and throw objects
- Face the coyote and back away slowly
- If attacked, fight back