protect your pets during coyote breeding season

ST. LOUIS–Food. Fear. Vigilance.

Those are the three keys that Missouri Department of Conservation officials are warning the public to keep in mind during a very busy four months for coyote activity in the state. The breeding season begins in February, with mothers giving birth within two months. With puppies comes the need for more food.

“Unlike many other types of wild animals, coyotes adapt particularly well to human development and coexist with people in many places. These areas may include municipal parks and other urban green spaces, playgrounds, golf, cemeteries, suburban wooded common areas and even within the subdivisions themselves, the department said in a notice this week.

The department says that’s why coyotes can end up running into pets, which they attack not out of need for food, but for competition.

What can you do to minimize the risk to your home and your pets?

Food sources: Do not leave pet food outside. Cover your trash cans and wait as long as possible before taking out trash and recycling for pickup.

Fear: Use whatever scaring tactics are appropriate for you if you see coyotes approaching. To scream. spray a hose. Use an air horn. Some people have been known to bang pots and pans.

Vigilance: Do not leave animals alone outside.

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