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Pet Owners Beware: Coyotes Creep Closer To Urban Areas


UPDATED: Tuesday January 24, 2012 10:29 AM

Concerned pet owners met with an animal expert Monday night to discuss a possible threat to small pets.

Coyote sightings have become more frequent around Worthington and other parts of central Ohio, 10TV’s Glenn McEntyre reported.

Dr. Stan Gehrt of The Ohio State University’s School of Environment and Natural Resources has spent years studying coyotes.

“Every city has it, Columbus is no different,” Gehrt said. “On the campus of OSU, we have coyotes either living there or passing through.”

January through February is peak mating season for coyotes, meaning hormones are running high. High hormone levels could lead to attacks on pets.

“They do take dogs occasionally,” Gehrt said. “Small ones, especially small ones.”

Coyotes are generally uninterested in humans, making pet owners their pet’s best protection, McEntyre reported.

“Make sure they know you’re there,” Gehrt said.  “Make sure they know you’re not afraid of them because we are the dominant animal.”

Gehrt said that he does not recommend leaving pets outside unattended and suggests dogs are kept on a leash while walking.

Although the behavior is rare, any instance of a coyote being aggressive with a human should be reported to local animal control shelters, McEntyre reported.

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