We are starting to get coyote calls. Here are some tips on how to handle them:

  1. Calm the people down (if they need it). People are not used to seeing coyotes. They are bigger than foxes which are more common. Remind them that coyotes have been moving into the area for several years and they are here to stay. Just as they have adapted their behaviour to coexist with humans, we need to adapt our behaviour to coexist with them.
  2. They should keep pets (especially small ones–cats & dogs) inside at night and supervise them outside during the day. Do not feed or water pets outside.
  3. Pet vaccinations should be kept up to date and dogs should be spayed or neutered to prevent interbreeding.
  4. Be sure food litter is picked up around garbage containers and that they have tight lids.
  5. Excess seed on the ground from bird feeders should be cleaned up.
  6. Compost in closed rather than open containers.
  7. Do not investigate coyote dens! Parents are VERY protective and may become aggressive. Pup time is May-Aug.
  8. Supervise young children outdoors–if they see a coyote, DO NOT APPROACH to feed or pet; have them tell an adult.
  9. DO NOT FEED COYOTES. They are very intelligent, adaptable animals but are still wild. Once they lose their wariness of humans it is not good for people or the coyote.
  10. Injured or sick animals should be referred to our coyote rehabilitators on the on-line list. YOU CAN ALSO CALL THEM IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF HOW TO HANDLE A SITUATION.
  11. If sighted, coyotes can be scared off by making loud noises, turning on lights (if at night), or throwing rocks at it to get it to run. If these techniques do not work or the coyote is clearly threatening, they should call local Animal Control.
  12. Remember, we have free information we can send to the public via Kathy Epatko (703) 437-3286. Get the caller’s contact information and relay it to Kathy. YOU MUST CALL HER–SHE DOES NOT HAVE EMAIL! If someone wants bulk mailings to give to their homeowner’s association, they should leave a message on our administrative line (on the WRL website).
Wildlife Rescue League - Viriginia
Wildlife Helpline 703-440-0800
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