Troy police receive 'numerous inquiries' about coyotes: Here's what to know

A coyote spotted in Michigan's suburban Auburn Hills. (WDIV)

TROY, Mich. - The Troy Police Department has released some helpful information after receiving multiple reports of coyotes in the city.

"We have received numerous inquiries about coyotes in Troy.  While the Police Department does not have “jurisdiction” over coyotes or other wildlife, we have researched this issue and worked with the Department of Natural Resources to assist residents," Troy Police said.

Here's the information offered to residents:

Coyote Facts

  • Coyotes are opportunistic omnivores and will eat fruits and vegetables as well as small rodents.
  • Residential coyotes average 20-45 lbs. They are smaller than most dogs. Coyotes are also very timid and will rarely approach a person.
  • In urban areas, their home range is 2-5 square miles.  Most active at dawn and dusk but can be active during the day, particularly during spring mating season.
  • Coyote mating season begins early spring; they can have between 4-7 pups. Coyotes live in family packs which consist of a breeding pair and may include older offspring.

How to Coexist with Coyotes in your City 

  • Always have garbage closed and contained.
  • Fruit on the ground in the summer attracts rodents then attracts coyotes. Pick up fruit when it falls off the trees.
  • Don’t leave any pet food outside; bird seed can also attract coyotes.
  • A fence used as a barrier should be 6 to 7 feet tall, coyotes can leap and are also good climbers.

Ways to protect yourself if you come in contact with a coyote

Hazing is a method that uses deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourages an undesirable behavior or activity. Hazing can help maintain coyotes’ fear of humans and deter them from neighborhood spaces such as backyards and playgrounds.

Ways to haze a coyote away include:

  • Yell and wave your arms while approaching the coyote.
  • Using noisemakers- your voice, whistles, air horns, banging on pots and pans.
  • Use projectiles ex: sticks, small rocks, tennis balls.
  • Make yourself as big and tall as possible. If you have a jacket on you can take it off and wave it around.
  • Always remember that coyotes are more scared of you then you are of them.
  • Never run from a coyote.
  • It typically takes at least two times to make the coyote go away for good.

Protecting your pet

Closely supervise your dog, do not leave small dogs unattended in your yard.
Walk your dog on a leash at all times & stay close to high pedestrian traffic areas.
Avoid dense brushy areas or paths near abandoned properties.
If you notice a coyote when walking your dog, keep your dog as close to you as possible and move towards an active area.
Never encourage or allow your dog to interact or “play” with coyotes.

Why not just relocate them?

Relocating is rarely effective for any species and particularly so for a coyote. Chicago conducted a study and relocated 12 nuisance coyotes and monitored their movements and fates. Their findings concluded that NONE of the 12 relocated coyotes stayed in the spot that they were relocated to. Within 48 hours each of them traveled back in the general direction of their origin. The DNR also notes that any attempt to eliminate coyotes would likely result in repopulation in a very short amount of time, as others would move into the now vacant area with more available food sources.

Removal

Any landowner wishing to remove coyotes from their property many contact a licensed nuisance animal control company. If a coyote presents an immediate danger, the resident should contact the Troy Police Department by calling 911. Beyond emergency situations, the Police Department is not involved in trapping or otherwise handling coyotes.

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