Coyotes on the prowl in Deer Park

August 20, 2010 8:39:28 PM PDT
Watch out for coyotes. That's the warning from the leaders of Deer Park. Authorities are concerned because many of the coyotes have lost their fear of humans.

Over the last few weeks, coyote sightings have been on the rise. Now pets are coming up missing, and the city of Deer Park is asking residents to take some precautions.

Homeowners say at dusk, the sounds of kids playing in the street gives way to calls of the wild.

"They howl back and forth constantly. It's a high-pitched yappin'," resident Mark Reid said.

Residents and the city of Deer Park says coyote sightings are on the rise as pets are disappearing.

"There are a lot of missing pets and then coyotes are coming up," resident Kim Reid said. "The neighbors and I seem to think that it is because of the coyotes."

According to the Texas Parks and Wildlife, coyotes are primarily nocturnal and can weigh 25 to 40 pounds. As predators, their diet ranges from insects to small animals.

And what's worrisome to residents is as subdivisions creeps into undeveloped areas, coyotes are getting braver.

"The last time I saw them, there was, I don't know, maybe half a dozen of them at the end of the cul de sac, and it wasn't even fully dark yet," Mark Reid said.

Along with neighborhoods, reports are coming in from parks, greenways and even the golf course.

"I saw two at a time, just running in pairs," resident Chris Kindle said.

Deer Park City Manager James Stokes confirms they have received reports of coyotes running wild near undeveloped areas, parks and even the golf course.

They are asking residents to scare them off if sighted to keep them fearful of humans.

"Do things to upset it, to cause it to fear humans and move on," Stokes said. "We especially ask people to not leave their pets out because coyotes are definitely known to attack small cats and dogs and destroy them."

Homeowners just hope the city can get a handle on the curious coyotes before they get even braver.

"They get more and more accustomed to kids, sooner or later something is going to happen," Mark Reid said.

The city of Deer Park is asking residents keep trash inside until them morning, as well as pets and pet food.

Police units are now watching for them, and animal control has been alerted. The city is even asking its residents to call police if a coyote is spotted.


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