Coyote Ugly: NC coyote sightings increase possibly due to COVID-19

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Officials said coyote sighting were on the rise in North Carolina but that may be because more residents are at home.

A Wildlife Resources Commission press release said increase sightings were due to changes in residents’ behavior because of stay-at-home orders put in place to combat the new coronavirus spread.

The release said since people were home, the opportunity to see the animals has increased. The release also said coyotes may be venturing out because people weren’t outside.

Coyotes naturally stay away from people if possible but sightings typically peak in May while coyotes raise their young.

The release said coyotes rarely attack humans but have been known to attack small pets.

Commission biologist Falyn Owens suggests keeping small pets close and supervised. She also said keep garbage cans secured and don’t leave pet food outside.

Owens said residents should “deter” coyotes from coming too close by making the animal uncomfortable.

“To deter a coyote from coming near you, or into your yard, you can haze it by shouting, throwing small objects, and waving your arms in a threatening manner,” Owens said.

Coyotes are plentiful on the Outer Banks, The Virginian-Pilot reported. In 2017, North Carolina hunters killed 45,568 coyotes and trappers captured and killed another 6,337, according to a state report, cited by the paper.

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