Experts caution that coyotes are a significant health risk to humans and their pets. While not generally aggressive, the animals may attack if they feel threatened. The health risks come from being bitten or scratched, spreading infectious diseases such as rabies or tick-borne illnesses, and they may prey on household pets. Precautions to guard against coyote attacks include keeping small pets indoors, making a noise to scare a coyote away, and securing garbage cans. Coyote sightings have been increasing in urban and suburban areas.
Experts Warn of Potential Health Risks Posed by Coyote Attacks
Coyotes are becoming more common in urban and suburban areas, and while they may seem harmless, experts warn that they pose a real health risk to humans. Coyotes are predators and are genetically programmed to hunt and kill prey, which includes small pets and even people. They are not typically aggressive towards humans but can exhibit aggressive behavior if they feel threatened or provoked.
What are the potential health risks of coyote attacks?
Coyote attacks can result in physical injuries, such as bites and scratches, which can lead to infections. Coyotes can also transmit diseases to humans, including rabies, which can be fatal unless treated immediately. In addition, coyotes can carry ticks and fleas, which can transmit diseases to humans, such as Lyme disease.
How can you protect yourself from coyote attacks?
There are several precautions you can take to protect yourself from coyote attacks:
-Keep small pets inside or under close supervision when outside.
-If you see a coyote, make loud noises to scare it away.
-Do not feed coyotes.
-Keep your garbage cans securely closed.
-Use motion-activated lights and sprinklers to deter coyotes from entering your yard.
-Avoid leaving food or water outside, as this can attract coyotes to your property.
What should you do if you encounter a coyote?
If you encounter a coyote, stay calm and do not run. Back away slowly while making loud noises and waving your arms to scare it away. Do not turn your back on the coyote or run away, as this can trigger its natural predatory response.
If a coyote attacks you, fight back with whatever means necessary, including using rocks, sticks, or your fists. Aim for the coyote’s nose, eyes, and ears.
What should you do if you are bitten by a coyote?
If you are bitten by a coyote, seek medical attention immediately. Contact your local animal control agency to report the incident and to determine if the coyote needs to be captured and tested for rabies.
In conclusion, coyote attacks pose a real health risk to humans. It is important to take precautions to protect yourself and your pets, and to know what to do if you encounter a coyote. By following these guidelines, you can minimize the risk of coyote attacks and stay safe in areas where coyotes are present.
Q: Have there been any reported cases of humans being mauled by coyotes?
A: While coyote attacks on humans are rare, there have been reported cases of humans being bitten or scratched by coyotes. In rare cases, coyotes have been known to attack small children and even adults.
Q: Can coyotes transmit diseases to humans?
A: Yes, coyotes can transmit diseases to humans, including rabies, Lyme disease, and other tick-borne illnesses.
Q: What should I do if I see a coyote in my yard?
A: If you see a coyote in your yard, make loud noises to scare it away. Do not approach the coyote or try to capture it. It is important to keep small pets inside or under close supervision when outside.