Archive for Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Coyote sightings, pet disappearances coincide

July 25, 2007


Pet safety

Pet owners can take these precautions to protect their animals from coyotes, according to Aaron Henricks, a natural resource officer for the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks:

  • Leave coyotes alone.
  • Keep dog food or other animal food inside.
  • Make sure pets are inside at night and watch them closely while they're outside during the day, especially smaller pets that can be seen as prey for coyotes.

Susie Dillon usually let her cat, Johnny, wander the neighborhood during the night. Johnny would visit neighbors and tromp through the nearby Alvamar golf course, bringing home mice and other prey. In the morning, Johnny would be at Dillon's back door, ready to come inside.

But a few weeks ago, Johnny did not return. Several days later, Dillon said, she saw a coyote in her backyard.

Dillon is not the only resident of her Rodeo Drive neighborhood near Alvamar to mysteriously lose a pet.

She knows of at least 10 neighbors who have seen coyotes in their yards this month and just as many who have lost pets this year.

One recent morning, Dillon said, she even saw a coyote sitting on the sidewalk along Clinton Parkway.

"It's ridiculous," Dillon said. "Almost everyone has seen one or knows someone who has seen one."

Todd Olson, owner and operator of Critter Control, 3514 Clinton Parkway, said he receives complaints about coyotes and traps them in Lawrence from time to time.

Last year, he trapped a couple of coyotes on Orchards Golf Course, 3000 Bob Billings Parkway, after he heard reports of dogs being killed. He says he's now pursuing a coyote near Clinton Parkway and Lawrence Avenue.

Olson did say there is "certainly quite a population of coyotes" in the Lawrence area.

"As long as a coyote is acting normal - that is, running away from humans - that's fine," he said. "But when they become fearless, it's only a matter of time before a dog or cat gets injured."

Aaron Henricks, a natural resource officer with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, said coyote attacks likely are most prevalent in spring and summer because the animals are raising pups then.

He said the coyotes may view dogs as a danger to younger coyotes. And because coyotes are searching for food, cats and small dogs are easy targets, Henricks said.


honestone 10 years, 11 months ago

Too bad about the missing cat. Maybe you shouldn't let your animals wander loose and the coyotes wouldn't bother them

Katie Van Blaricum 10 years, 11 months ago

Do you think the Bella Sera development has anything to do with this?? My parents live right across from there, and lost a dog last year. I'm pretty sure it was to a Great Horned Owl and not a coyote, but still. The developments on the West side of town are displacing animals like coyotes. They have nowhere else to go and find food, so they end up in our backyards. I certainly hope the coyotes that have been trapped were set free elsewhere and not killed.

dirkleisure 10 years, 11 months ago

There's been a noticible spike in coyote roadkill this summer on I-70. It sounds like nobody wanted to come out and say the population is up this year, but I've heard a lot of anecdotal evidence from both Lawrence and from well west of Lawrence to that effect.

esl03 10 years, 11 months ago

BOWHUNTER99- Nobody is whining they are stating the truth. They are somewhat to blame... Lawrence doesnt need anymore apartment comlexes. There are enough as it is. I lost a pet too, to the those Coyotes.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 11 months ago

Coyotes are cool...only until they eat Fluffy, it seems. I'm not sure that relocating them does anything but ease the minds of those who fail to recognize that it's a dog eat dog world out there. Who wants coyote on their property, besidea a coyote hunter? What causes one to believe that the coyote will have a better life in the release location? They would probably have to fight for resources there. I think that any coyote friendly land probably has breeding coyotes on it already. There is no coyote preserve out there unless you create it and good luck with that. Coyote life means death to smaller critters. Human life means death to smaller critters. Life begets death. There's no getting around it be you vegan, vole, cat, dog or megalomaniac. Perhaps, we need to stop breeding?

dirkleisure 10 years, 11 months ago

I think perhaps JJE007 was raised by coyotes. Then, one day, they JJE007 was led to the edge of the forest, where animal friends Bagheera and Baloo sent JJE007 off into the human world.

If only there had been a coyote preserve, JJE007 could have stayed in the forest with Bagheera and Baloo forever.

yourworstnightmare 10 years, 11 months ago

Do not let your cats roam free. Not only might they be eaten by coyotes or bobcats or cougars, but they also do great damage to song bird populations. Even domestic cats kill many song birds.

Keep your cats indoors.

i_have_only_valid_opinions 10 years, 11 months ago

I had Thai take-out for dinner last night and it tasted like Johnny the cat. I'm not convinced it's the coyotes taking all the dogs and cats.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 11 months ago

dirkleisure says: I think perhaps JJE007 was raised by coyotes

I do live in a preserve that, in the short term, is friendly to the trickster body but always and invariably devours the heart. I'm sure you feel it. That is the way of the preserve, dirkMowgleisure.

It is a lush summer and the rodents are out to build the trickster body until the starvation moon sets in the rodential west.

Your turn?

Flap Doodle 10 years, 11 months ago

Why aren't we hearing from the scat experts?

Janet Lowther 10 years, 11 months ago

What's the big deal about a missing cat?

Coyote? Maybe. But it could as easily have intruded in the territory of a largish cat-hating dog.

Cats are near the upper end of the usual prey for a coyote. Mice, rabbits & squirrels are more their usual prey.

Prehaps the reasons coyotes are coming in to town is the out of control rabbit and squirrel populations: Prey animals where their customary in-town predators are all on leashes or confined to fences.

ramsrevenge 10 years, 11 months ago

BEWARE! A pack of wild coyotes as well as a herd of deer along with numerous baby snakes have been spotted around the bob billings and research park drive area. There is a certain nature preserve area that they live in. Just wanted everyone to be aware of this.

Confrontation 10 years, 11 months ago

Where is PETA's comment on this? Doesn't this Coyote know that eating meat causes unnecessary suffering?! Surely, Mr. Coyote provided the necessary anesthesia before eating the fluffy kitty. Isn't he concerned about high blood pressure or impotence? Seriously, where is Pamela Anderson when you really need a PETA spokesbimbo?

yankeelady 10 years, 11 months ago

Out here in the county we lost several barn cats last summer. About the time the coyotes were coming very close to the house. If the cats get caught out in the open, away from the trees they don't have a chance.
If I lived in town my cat(s) would stay indoors--much better odds for a long life.

Yabut 10 years, 11 months ago

Critter Control does not release what they catch. They kill it, and not humanely. How do I know? I was subject to the screams of a racoon for over an hour until it died from suffocation as a result a trap placed by CC when my neighbor contacted them to help with a family of racoons that had moved into her attic. When I called the next day to complain, I was told that it was their policy not to release.

Martin_D_15 10 years, 11 months ago

I think it was a mountain lion! the one that hangs around west campus.

leadrain 10 years, 11 months ago

I've seen a coyote right at the football stadium with what I hope was a rabbit just last year. It stopped, gave a glance, and took off toward the concorse area. There is a little ledge on the south end so if anyone wants to take a picture ( or a shot at revenge ) look here. But remember, the coyote never catches the Roadrunner, and tofu's too expensive. So they have to eat,too. Give 'em a break.

Crossfire 10 years, 11 months ago

Big ol' purple cats have been known to die under the mighty yellow foot. Here Kitty-kitty-kitty...

RKLOG 10 years, 11 months ago

Coyotes have very little to do with pet disappearances.

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