DRAPER CITY, Utah (ABC4) — Residents of Draper have recently reported a high number of coyote sightings and attacks on local pets throughout the city.
According to a Facebook post by Draper City Police Department this week, animal services have been made aware of multiple incidents, including by river bottoms and near city hall, as well as at golf courses like Willow Springs Pond and South Mountain Golf Course.
With these occurrences, it is reported that both cats and dogs have been targeted, in addition to an incident where multiple dogs were “attacked or taken.”
The department states that the most recent occurrences have been at Hidden Valley Golf Course and the SunCrest community, where two dogs were taken after being left unattended and off-leash in yards without a fence.
“Feed pets indoors whenever possible, and store pet and livestock feed where it is inaccessible to wildlife,” remarks Draper City PD in the caption.
Police also say that, if possible, residents can deter coyotes by fencing yards with a six-foot high fence, with the bottom extending at least six inches below ground level.
While coyotes can be found throughout the U.S., they are particularly common in Utah. Experts say that adult coyotes can weigh anywhere between 20 and 45 pounds, with most coyote sightings occurring during the hours close to sunrise and sunset.
Draper City has provided a useful webpage with extensive information on coyote safety.
Some of the tips offered for reducing risk to pets include:
- Supervise pets when they are outside, especially at dawn and dusk.
- Never leave pets outside after dark.
- Keep dogs leashed, especially when on trails and in open areas.
- Never let your dog chase or “play” with coyotes.
- Cats should be kept indoors.
- Secure outdoor pets in a kennel, barn, or shed at night. If that is impossible, a small, well-lit pen close to a structure is the next-best option.
If you should encounter a coyote, some important steps are to:
- Yell and wave your arms while approaching the coyote.
- Use noisemakers. These can be conventional instruments, including your voice, whistles, air horns, and bells.
- Use projectiles, such as sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls, and rubber balls.
- Use other repellents, such as hoses, water guns or spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray, bear repellant, or walking sticks.