Georgia residents warned of potential threat from coyotes as weather warms up
As the weather warms up, Georgia residents should be aware of the increased activity of coyotes, a non-native predator that can pose a potential threat.
GORDON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As the weather warms up, Georgia residents should be aware of the increased activity of coyotes, a non-native predator that can pose a potential threat.
According to Georgia Wildlife Biologist Bobby Bond, coyotes may be on the move to follow their favorite foods as rabbits and rats are becoming more active in preparation for their breeding season. Additionally, coyotes with young pups will need to hunt more often and rely on their top two food sources, rats and rabbits, to feed their young.
Although coyotes typically live in forests and open grasslands, they can also be found in neighborhoods. Bond advises pet owners to be cautious during nightfall, when coyotes are most likely to hunt. While they generally do not pose a threat to humans, Bond suggests paying attention to their appearance if they are spotted in your yard.
“If you see one in the backyard or run behind the house, how is it moving?” he said. “How does its general overall appearance look like? Does its coat look healthy? Does it look mangey? If it’s starting to look mangey, that means that it’s probably not taking care of itself and there might be something wrong with it.”
Coyotes are considered non-native to Georgia, so there is no limit to hunting or trapping them. However, Bond suggests being cautious with bird feeders or food kept outside as they can attract rodents, which in turn attract coyotes.
Despite the potential threat coyotes pose to pets, Bond emphasizes they are generally more scared of humans and advises residents to remain cautious when in areas where coyotes may be present.
“As long as you’re not threatening them, they’re not going to threaten you,” Bond said.