It’s the time of year when young animals are taking their first steps. While it’s cute, it can mean problems for owners of small pets. Coyote numbers are high in Michigan, and when food is scarce, they may begin to view your pets as a meal.
Coyote diets typically consist of rabbits, and other small animals. However it’s not uncommon for them to use up their food sources, especially when they’re feeding pups.
Hannah Schauer is the Wildlife Communications Coordinator for the DNR Wildlife Division. She said coyote’s natural fear of humans usually keeps them away from people, but not in every case.
“In the summer since they tend to concentrate around that den site they’re going to eat a lot of those natural foods like mice and birds, and if they’re preying heavily in those areas they could run themselves out of food in which case an unattended small house pet might be a similar size to a prey item.”
Schauer said brush piles act as good hiding places for rodents which can attract coyotes, so eliminating brush and bird feeders, and not leaving trash out can keep coyotes away from your home.
She said if there are coyotes in your area it’s recommended that you take small dogs out on leashes, and leave cats indoors.
In the interest of disclosure, the DNR is a financial supporter of WCMU Public Radio.