According to a May 6 city release, coyotes entering a resident’s yard or neighborhood are likely looking for food, water or shelter.
Domesticated pets, such as small dogs and cats, are at risk if left alone or taken off their leash outside, Richardson’s Animal Shelter Manager Noura Jammal told Community Impact Newspaper in January about concerns about coyotes and bobcats. According to the city's animal services website, bobcats can climb trees and fences as well as jump up to 12 feet, while coyotes can jump over a 5-foot fence.
Richardson Animal Services only traps wildlife, such as skunks and raccoons, that are acting abnormally aggressive and/or are ill and at high risk of having or spreading rabies, according to its website.
“These animals have a critical role in our ecosystem,” Jammal said in January. “Removing them from our homes and our ecosystem actually draws in more animals because it creates a vacuum, allowing our rat and insect population to increase.”
According to the release, biologists with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recommend the following actions for those who wish to avoid contact with coyotes:
- Keep pet food, water and garbage inside and securely stored.
- Keep compost piles securely covered as coyotes can be drawn to decomposing vegetable matter.
- Keep pets inside, confined securely in a kennel or covered exercise yard or within the close presence of an adult.
- Walk pets on a leash and accompany them outside, especially at night.
- Do not feed wildlife on the ground and keep wild bird seed in feeders designed for birds as coyotes can either be drawn directly to the seed or to the rodents drawn to the seed.
- Keep fruit trees fenced or pick up fruit that falls to the ground.
- Do not feed feral cats as this can encourage coyotes to prey on cats as well as feed on cat food left out for them.
- Use noise-making devices to scare away coyotes when they are seen.
For more information on Richardson's wildlife policies, visit the city's animal services website. Residents who encounter an aggressive wild animal are advised to call the department at 972-744-4480.