Coyote Safety Tips – MLPD and Animal Control have received multiple calls recently about coyote sightings and encounters in Mt. Lebanon and other South Hills communities. First, to clear up a myth…Coyotes are definitely not new to the area and have existed in our neighborhoods for some time. The following information is being provided to educate citizens about these animals, as well as provide some do’s and don’ts when encountering a coyote.
The following are things you can do if you spot a coyote in your neighborhood or near your home:
- Frighten coyotes with loud noises.
- Fear of humans is important for coyote survival.
- Keep garbage in a tightly sealed container.
- In your yard, remove pet food, fallen fruit and spilled seed beneath bird feeders.
- Use yard lights or motion detectors to frighten them away.
- Keep pets in fenced areas or covered kennels.
- Stay with your pets while outdoors, unless pets are in a secured, covered kennel.
- Do not allow pets to run loose. Keep pets on a leash.
Coyotes are usually skittish around humans and typically try to avoid people whenever possible. If you encounter a coyote:
- Do not turn your back on a coyote or run away from a coyote.
- If approached, make loud noises and make yourself look big. If this fails, throw rocks or other objects.
- Always keep yourself between the coyote and small children.
Don’t feed other animals that coyotes prey upon. Birdseed often attracts these innocent animals to your backyard which in turn attracts a coyote that is hungry.
Although attacks on humans are extremely rare, parents need to speak to their children about what to do if they encounter a coyote.
One particular coyote that has been spotted recently has an injured leg. This coyote has been seen in the lower Cedar Blvd area and in Bird Park. If this animal’s injury prevents it from hunting, it may become desperate for food and more aggressive toward people and pets.
If you see any coyotes who are behaving in a way that makes you concerned about your safety, call 9-1-1 immediately.