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BPS asks residents to be alert coyote mating season

Make sure to keep your eyes open because it is coyote mating season. Bainbridge Public Safety recently reminded the public that the next couple of months is breeding season for coyotes, making them hungry and aggressive.

The season peaks in late February and early March, but that does not mean coyotes won’t begin breeding early. As a precautionary measure, BPS has offered some helpful and potentially life-saving tips to keep residents and their pets safe.

They first suggest keeping pets indoors, or having them within eyesight at all times.

BPS said to keep cats indoors, or at the very least, keep them inside between dusk and dawn. The same goes for dogs. Never leave dogs tied up outside or allow them to roam freely, while unattended. BPS said if a dog is tied up, it is no match for a coyote and is rendered defenseless.

If pets must be left outside, BPS suggests installing fencing and motion-activated lights to discourage coyote predators. Along with this, never leave pet food outside and prevent access to food around the home.

In order to help make that possible, always clean the grill after using it and store it in a garage or shed if possible.

Also, make sure trash cans are inaccessible and secure them with tight lids; the same applies to compost bins- make sure they are securely covered and never add meat waste to compost bins.

In addition to this, always pick up fallen fruit from fruit trees and don’t let it rot on the ground.

While these tips can deter a coyote, they still may be found roaming. If you see a coyote in your yard or neighborhood, try and scare them away. BPS suggests yelling, stomping your feet, waving your arms or spraying the animal with a garden hose. They also said you can throw a tennis ball or even rock in the general direction, but do not aim to hit the animal, simply just to frighten them.

Coyotes by nature are generally shy and afraid of humans and pose little threat, however they are still wild animals and should be treated with caution.

BPS encourage everyone to be vigilant during this season, especially residents who house backyard chickens, as coyotes are attracted to the chickens, feed and rodents that chickens attract.