KNOXVILLE, TN (WVLT) – Residents of a West Knoxville neighborhood have taken to social media after spotting coyotes in broad daylight.
According to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, it’s not as rare as one might think. TWRA’s Matt Cameron said coyotes tend to be in urban and suburban areas, so people shouldn’t be surprised if they come across one.
“Coyotes are more common than people realize,” Cameron said. “It’s probably the most widespread mammal in North America, at least the most widespread K-9 in North America, so we find it in places we wouldn’t expect to see it – that is, in and around urban/suburban settings.”
However, people in West Hills hope they don’t see more of their new neighbours. Sarah Cox told WVLT News she hasn’t seen one before but will be watching in the future.
“No, I’ve never seen anything before. I come every day, I never go,” Cox said. “We see a lot of dogs here, so I’m really surprised that we got there and so close to the park, there are so many people here.”
Some people have seen it in the neighborhood and are not surprised that there are animals outside.
“Well, I’m not surprised because I’ve seen them here so often,” said Louis Pavon. “Yes, they are very comfortable; I am sure they are looking for food. I am glad I didn’t find my little dog around because I heard they like to eat little dogs.”
Cameron said coyotes are usually in the area because they are hungry and are looking for food.
“Often they get some kind of meal associated with humans, and it could be in our trash, and that could be in the pet food we leave outside, or it could be animals like rats and mice that are using our trash or food,” Cameron said. pets who can come in and try to use them as things of prey.” “They are in and around neighborhoods, which is probably why they are there, and unfortunately, they are probably not going anywhere because they are so well adapted to urban and suburban areas.”
While anxiety is low, coyotes prey on small mammals to eat; Therefore, they can show interest in unsupervised small dogs. Cameron said people are more likely to see animals in the early morning or late evening.
“There is likely to be a bit of concern about coyotes feeding on pets because they prefer small mammals to eat,” Cameron said. “Their natural diet would be rabbits and mice. Anything small and furry they can pick up, kill and eat, they will do. So your little dog can definitely become an item of prey for wolves if your dog is left unsupervised.”
Since coyotes have adapted to humans, Cameron said it’s essential for people to fog them, letting the animals know they need to leave.
“Throw things at them – sticks, stones, make noise,” Cameron said. “You can make a simple noise maker out of a can with a handful of pennies in it – any kind of unnatural noise to make this wolf feel unsafe around your house will prevent it from being around and should avoid negative human interaction.”
People in the neighborhood said they would remain more aware of their surroundings as they moved forward.
“We will be more vigilant when we are out hiking or especially playing with the kids,” said Cynthia Chapman.
People are also encouraged to carry spray guns or pepper spray if they come into contact with a coyote.
More information about wolves can be found at The Tennessee State website is here.
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