QCA pet owners warned about coyote threat

A coyote is spotted blending into its surroundings in Whiteside County, Illinois on March 11, 2018. (Jay Wolf)
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – The coyote population in the Quad Cities region of Iowa has grown each year since 2014, according to data from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

As their numbers increase, they are more likely to be spotted in residential areas where they may pose a threat to small animals including pets.

“There's a few other towns dealing with similar issues: Denison, Dubuque, Ames, and few other smaller towns,” DNR Biologist Vince Evelsizer tells KWQC by email.

“It's really variable and probably just depends on local densities for those immediate areas.”

Numerous homeowners in the Quad Cities Area have reported coyote sightings in recent months, including a Silvis, Illinois family whose dog was attacked by a coyote last week in their backyard.

One month ago, Victoria Olvera of East Moline, Illinois says a coyote attacked her chihuahua near Short Hills Country Club.

Last week, Maple Ridge Veterinary Clinic in Geneseo, Illinois posted on Facebook, “Never leave your dog outside unattended. [The coyote threat] is a very real situation in our area.”

Evelsizer advises owners to “keep closer tabs on their pets,” including having them on a leash or keeping them inside at nighttime, and always keeping pet food properly contained.

He also suggests keeping a noisemaker handy to frighten away a coyote if necessary while outside walking dogs.

“Coyotes usually aren't a threat to humans but can bother walkers, joggers, pets, and bikers if they lose their fear of humans,” Evelsizer says.

He suggests that in addition to public awareness it is important city administrators stay in communication with each other about the coyote reports they are getting locally.

“This kind of thing usually builds slowly and then finally gets to a point where it's on everyone's radar for that town before something is done about it.”