Recent events here in Scottsdale highlight the danger of coyote attacks on children. The Arizona Game and Fish Department has launched a search for a coyote that only days ago injured two toddlers. The incident has raised concerns among parents about the safety of their children in the outdoors, especially in areas where coyotes are known to inhabit. In this article, we will provide some essential tips on how to protect your children from coyote attacks.
- Understand the Coyote Behavior
Coyotes are typically nocturnal animals, but they can be seen during the day, especially when they are hungry or thirsty. They are opportunistic predators that will hunt and scavenge for food wherever they can find it. They are known to be attracted to residential areas, especially those that have easy access to food sources like garbage cans, pet food, and open compost piles. Coyotes are generally fearful of humans, but they can become aggressive if they feel threatened or cornered.
- Educate Your Children About Coyotes
Teaching your children about coyotes is an essential step in protecting them from an attack. Explain to them that coyotes are wild animals and not pets. They should never approach a coyote or attempt to feed it. Encourage them to make noise and yell if they see a coyote and to back away slowly without turning their back. Teach them to recognize the signs of aggressive behavior, such as growling or baring teeth, and to report any sightings to an adult immediately.
- Secure Your Property
Make your property less attractive to coyotes by securing your garbage cans and removing any other food sources. Keep your pet food and water dishes inside the house, and do not leave food outside for stray animals. Keep compost piles enclosed and clean up fallen fruit from trees. If you have chickens or other small animals, make sure their enclosures are secure with wire mesh and lockable doors.
- Use Coyote Deterrents
There are several deterrents that you can use to discourage coyotes from entering your property. Installing motion-activated lights and sprinklers can help scare them away. You can also use noise deterrents like air horns or a whistle. Some people have had success with using coyote decoys, which can be purchased online or at sporting goods stores.
- Be Vigilant
When you are outside with your children, keep a close eye on them and be aware of your surroundings. If you see a coyote, make yourself appear larger by raising your arms and standing on your tiptoes. Clap your hands and shout loudly to scare the coyote away. Do not run away, as this can trigger a chase response.
Coyote attacks on children are a serious concern, but by following these simple steps, you can minimize the risk and keep your children safe. Remember to educate your children about coyotes, secure your property, use deterrents, and be vigilant when you are outside. If you see a coyote exhibiting aggressive behavior, contact your local animal control or the Arizona Game and Fish Department immediately.