As Mesquite continues to grow, reports of coyotes living in the city have increased. The following information is provided to help residents understand and co-exist with coyotes. If you see a coyote that is sick, injured, or acting aggressively, dial 911 immediately. Otherwise, if you know of a coyote living in your neighborhood, please report it by clicking here or calling Mesquite Animal Services at 972-216-6283.
Adult coyotes vary in color from gray to brown to yellow, are around 24 inches tall at the shoulder, and weigh about 40 pounds. They inhabit most of North America below the Arctic circle. Coyotes are generally nocturnal since they prefer to avoid daylight hours when people are most active, but it isnít uncommon to see coyotes out during the day.
Coyotes are opportunistic predators and will eat most small animals, including cats and small dogs. Packs of coyotes are capable of taking prey as large as deer.
Coyote attacks on humans are uncommon and typically result in only minor injuries. However, coyotes do carry rabies, so medical treatment is often required to prevent infection. Since 1981, only two fatalities have been caused by coyotes in North America.
How to reduce encounters with coyotes
The following precautions can reduce the likelihood of encountering coyotes in your neighborhood:
For all residents:
- Donít feed coyotes. It teaches coyotes that humans are a source of food and invites them deeper into populated areas.
- Donít allow your pets to run loose. They are easy prey for coyotes, and allowing pets to run loose is illegal.
- Keep bird feeders and pet food containers inside at night. Coyotes are opportunistic predators and will eat these items if available.
- Avoid placing garbage bags out at night. Wait until the next morning or place them in garbage cans.
- Monitor childrenís outdoor activities closely, especially near wooded areas or locations where coyotes have been observed. Teach children to avoid all contact with a coyote and to tell an adult immediately if they see a coyote. Caution them not to feed, attempt to pet, or otherwise interact with a coyote.
For runners, joggers, and walkers:
- Avoid exercising in areas where coyotes are known to live, especially in the early morning or at night. Consider using a City recreation center.
- Exercise with a friend. Coyotes are less likely to approach a group of people.