Fact verses Fiction: Coyote fears across the Ozarks
(Reprinted from above link)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3/KSPR) - The coyote population is growing across the Ozarks, spilling into some of the more urban areas, including Springfield.
"I personally have seen a coyote running along Kearney Street," said Francis Skalicky with the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Skalicky worked with KY3 News to debunk or confirm coyote fears people may have.
He started by talking about coyote feeding habits.
"Think rabbits, mice, squirrels, and any other animals that's that size or a little bit larger," he said. He said that could include small pets. Skalicky added it doesn't matter whether it is coyote mating season or not, preying on small mammals is normal for the animal.
He said the best thing people can do to protect their small pets is to be outside with them. He said if there is a human present, coyotes are less likely to attack because that small mammal or pet is no longer an easy prey option.
Skalicky added that it is rare a small child or human will get attacked by a coyote. "I don't want to say it never happens, because as soon as I say that somebody will point up on the internet well it did happen, but I will say it is highly uncommon," said Skalicky.
Skalicky said if people feel threatened by a coyote they could use quick scares to frighten them.
"If you have a coyote running along your chain link fence or something because it's interested in your poultry or dogs, sometimes just simple scare tactics will work," he began. "Make it known you don't want it around there, yell, shout, throwing things at it, whatever."
Skalicky added there are several ways people can protect themselves from coyotes, including a provisions that allow people to protect themselves and property if being attacked. Coyotes also qualify as a furbearer and can be killed by those with a hunting permit during specified times of the year. They can also be trapped up until January 31.
Francis recommended people start by calling the Missouri Department of Conservation so a specialized biologist can help a person if they are having a coyote problem.