Wildlife officials warn of increased coyote sightings in Boulder


(Credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/GettyImages)

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BOULDER, Colo. — With increased coyote activity reported in some Boulder neighborhoods, wildlife officials warned residents Monday to protect their pets, “haze” coyotes that may be seen in the city, and avoid feeding wildlife.

Coyotes are thought to be responsible for the deaths of several cats in the Newlands neighborhood, and coyotes have been seen in the area during daylight hours, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

“Coyotes are currently in the midst of breeding season, when they are establishing and protecting their territories, and may perceive any canine — large or small — as a threat,” CPW said in a media release.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife said it receives numerous calls about coyotes following people who are walking with dogs. It is not uncommon for a coyote to trail from a short distance away until the dog has left the area that the coyote perceives as their territory. Dog walkers are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings, keep pets on leash, and haze any coyote that get too close to them or their pets.

Wildlife officials offered the following tips:

Protect Your Pets

  • Watch your pets when they are outside, especially at night.
  • Keep cats indoors.
  • Keep pets in fenced areas or kennels to minimize wildlife encounters. Many coyotes can scale a six-foot fence, so pet kennels and runs should have fully-enclosed roofs.
  • Keep dogs on-leash when walking them in open space areas and urban areas with coyote activity.
  • Keep pets vaccinated.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

  • Coyotes are usually wary of humans and will avoid people, if possible. If a coyote does approach you, haze it by making loud noises, yelling, throwing objects or making yourself look big.
  • Do not attempt to shoot a coyote or any other wildlife with an air soft, BB, or pellet gun.
  • Although rare, coyotes have been known to injure people. Most of these incidents involved people feeding them. Remind your family members to never feed or attempt to “tame” wildlife.
  • Teach your children to be SMART if they have an encounter with a coyote or other predator:
    • Stop, do not run or turn your back to the animal;
    • Make yourself look bigger by lifting your arms or pulling your jacket above your shoulders;
    • Announce your presence loudly and firmly;
    • Retreat by backing away slowly; and then
    • Tell an adult about your encounter.

Discourage Coyotes Near Homes

  • Haze coyotes by making loud noises, yelling, throwing objects or making yourself look big.
  • Remove all food attractants from yards such as pet food, food scraps on compost piles, fallen fruit and birdseed.
  • Trim or remove vegetation, brush, and lower limbs of shrubs and conifer trees, which provide hiding cover for both coyotes and their prey (such as mice and rabbits).
  • Keep all trash out of reach of wildlife, and only place trash outside on the morning of pickup.

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