Saturday, January 7, 2012

Suburban Pests, Part 3: Wandering Wile E. revisited

Back in November, I published a blog post imploring people not to leave dog food outdoors because it attracts coyotes and other pests.  This admonition was prompted in part by a newspaper story of a coyote having to be shot inside a fenced League City back yard.

In that November post, I also mentioned seeing coyote tracks in Section 9 before it was substantially completed.  My overwhelming suspicion was that they were feeding on the abundant food scraps left by tradesmen building our 75 new houses.  At the time, I even sent pics to Meritage and Brighton in an attempt to get them to encourage their trades to observe better food hygiene and prevent a scenario in which they were inadvertently sustaining the local scavenger population.
Everyday scenes of a construction zone. With a smorgasbord like this, what four-legged critter WOULDN'T want to visit us for a midnight snack?!  Coyotes are omnivores.  They will eat just about anything.
Well, I didn't see any evidence that my public education effort was highly successful, and last night my husband and I saw what we believe was a coyote making its way into Section 9 via the eastern Arlington Pointe cul-de-sac (it could also have been a large fox, but fox are generally too smart to be seen by humans).

Coyotes generally don't present much of a risk to humans, but they have been known to dine on small pets as well as dog food and greasy tortillas.  Miniature dog breeds, cats, and the like.  We suspect strongly that we lost our previous cat to a coyote while living on the north side of Clear Lake a few years ago. 

So mind your pets and it's probably not a good idea to leave the smaller ones in your backyard for extended periods after dark.  You might also think about ensuring that some kind of shelter is available for them (small dog house or whatever), a place where they could take refuge and into which a coyote hopefully could not fit. 

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