Officials warn of coyote attacks on small pets - WSMV News 4

Officials warn of coyote attacks on small pets

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Many people in Benton County are on edge after several recent coyote sightings and even some attacks on their small pets.

Experts say coyotes rarely attack people, but if you do something like leave your trash can open, you are essentially giving the predators an open invitation to come close.

"They're predators, so they see a small animal a dog or cat, it's just food to them. That's where they can be dangerous," said TWRA spokesman Doug Markham.

Markham recommends not leaving small pets or babies unattended outside, and don't leave your pet's food out there either.

"A big mistake that people make in their neighborhoods that probably get a lot of their animals hurt or killed is putting their food out or their water out," Markham said.

Another big tip from the TWRA is that by clearing brush and weeds, you can deprive a coyote of protective cover and stop them from hunting nearby.

"It might be in a creek bank. It might be under a lot of heavy brush somewhere," he said.

Like any good animal owner, Cynthia Hallis keeps her eyes and ears open.

"Oh, yes, I can hear them almost every night, the high pitched howl, and it sounds like a band of them, several bands of them, in different areas," Hallis said.

Hallis said she loves all creatures, including coyotes, but she's worried about them as well.

"It's so much like a dog and, really, they're just trying to survive," she said.

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