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Coyotes Are Likely Behind Reports Of Missing Pets In Mobile

coyoteFollowing multiple reports of missing pets, authorities in central Mobile are pointing to some of the city’s more wild residents:

Coyotes.

Al.com reports that over two dozen animals have gone missing recently, and residents of the Llanfair and Yester Oaks neighborhoods have reported seeing coyotes prowling their yards. The carnivores have also shown up in game camera footage.

Acoording to Al.com, these neighborhoods are very much urban areas. They are located between I-65 and Spring Hill, next to the Airport Boulevard commercial area. Spring Hill College, several golf courses, and the Country Club of Mobile are also nearby. James Barber, director of public safety for Mobile, said in a statement to Al.com that the coyotes have grown accustom to living around humans. This makes them more comfortable walking onto residential property.

“Some of these urban coyotes have lost their natural fear of humans and are increasingly entering into the backyards of residents and killing small family pets, such as dogs and cats,” he said.

While pet owners like the 46.3 million households who own a dog might be more concerned, experts say that coyotes generally do not target humans. The Urban Coyote Initiative said that the best measure residents can take is to not feed coyotes under any circumstances.

“Coyotes have a natural fear of humans, and like most wildlife, will start to lose that fear and even become aggressive if they are being fed,” the initiative’s website says. “This is the reason wildlife managers warn people to never feed wildlife, and there is the saying, ‘A fed coyote is a dead coyote.’ Once a coyote loses its fear, it is likely to become a problem animal and that means animal control will have little choice but to lethally remove it.”

Mobile residents who see a coyote are encouraged to call the city’s animal shelter at 251-208-2800, according to Al.com. A wildlife control and trapping company will come to the scene and address the situation.

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