Animal Control Shares Coyote Sighting Information and Encounter Tips

Lincoln, NE (October 29, 2021) Lincoln Animal Control today released a coyote sightings map and made recommendations regarding coyote encounters.

Animal Control has received more than 250 calls from the public related to coyote sightings since June 2020, said Steve Beal, Animal Control Manager for the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. Data shows that there are certain areas of Lincoln where coyotes are more prominent including Taylor Park, Seacrest Park, Wedgewood Lake and Holmes Lake.

“Seeing coyotes in your neighborhood isn’t necessarily a cause for alarm and most people can live in close proximity to coyotes without conflict,” Beal said.

Many factors can contribute to environments where urban coyotes can thrive like parks, common areas and trails. These types of habitats also attract other wildlife such as rabbits, mice, squirrels, which coyotes will pursue as a food source. They are not particular about their diet and will eat berries, nuts and fruit that fall from trees. They are also attracted to garbage containing food scraps discarded from homes, restaurants and commercial buildings.

Beal said coyotes are also opportunists and may approach small domestic animals out of curiosity and as a potential meal. There have been three confirmed attacks on pets so far this year and no confirmed reports of coyotes attacking people.

Beal urged residents to follow these coyote encounter tips:

  • Do not feed coyotes under any circumstances. Feeding coyotes invites them into your space. The majority of cases where coyotes come within close proximity to people is due to people feeding coyotes.
  • Obey leash laws. An uncontrolled dog can lead to a coyote confrontation.
  • Keep sources of food away from wildlife, such as garbage, pet food, bird feeders, squirrel feeders (corn), brush piles, compost piles, and easy access to water. Brush piles harbor rodents and rabbits while bird feeders attract squirrels and rodents, which are all food sources for coyotes. Keep all pets indoors at night, especially smaller dogs and cats.
  • If you do encounter a coyote, stay calm and haze the coyote. Hazing is a method that makes use of deterrents to move an animal away from an area or discourage undesirable behaviors or activities. Try blowing a whistle or sounding off an air horn, raise your hands and yell. Throw sticks or rocks toward the coyote. Continue making noise and hazing the coyote until it moves on.

Beal said Animal Control continues to work to minimize problems with coyotes. Efforts include:

  • Posting signs in parks and walking/hiking trails
  • Working with Lincoln Parks and Recreation on educational efforts
  • Patrolling areas where coyotes have been reported
  • Talking to neighbor residents about coyotes and doing face-to-face education
  • Taking calls from the public regarding sighting locations, logging officer reports and posting coyote sightings on a map to better analyze their locations and movements

Contact Animal Control at 402-441-7900 or [email protected]. You can also follow Animal Control on Facebook: @LincolnAnimalControl.

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