AZGFD Confirms Three Coyote Bites
AZGFD Confirms Three Coyote Bites In North Phoenix
January 1, 2024
Arizona Game and Fish Department wildlife officers have been actively searching for a coyote or coyotes that have bitten three people since Saturday in the area just east of Interstate 17 and Happy Valley Road in Phoenix.
On Saturday, Dec.9 a 4-year-old child was bitten on the lower leg while walking with family members. Also on that Saturday, a man who was jogging in the same area was bitten by a coyote. On Monday, Dec. 11 , a man was bitten on the heel by a coyote south of Happy Valley Road near I-17. All three individuals received medical treatment and rabies shots. Game and Fish officers removed one coyote Sunday evening and are continuing to search the area.
Officers are also posting notices throughout the area, letting people know about the coyote issue. The public is advised to be aware of their surroundings and keep wildlife at a distance. To report any new coyote sightings in the area bordered by I-17 east to 19th Avenue and Pinnacle Peak Road north to Jomax Road, please call the Arizona Game and Fish Department at 623-236-7201. In an emergency, call 911.
Coyote attacks on people do occur and have the potential to be serious. There have been 28 coyote attacks on people in the Phoenix metropolitan area in the past 26 years.
Living With Coyotes: Things You Need To Know
Coyotes are common in rural and urban areas across Arizona. They are often observed at night or around sunrise, and it is not uncommon to find one napping under a shrub in a brushy backyard or neighborhood. Because coyotes are so common in both rural and urban areas, the information below may help to reduce conflicts with them. The Arizona Game and Fish Department does not respond to calls to relocate or remove coyotes unless they are a public safety concern. Those needing assistance relocating wildlife should contact a licensed wildlife removal business.
Conflicts With Coyotes
Coyotes are curious, clever and adaptable, and will take advantage of any food source. Yards with abundant fruit on the ground, pet food, unsecured garbage cans or unattended pets such as small dogs and cats are often easy food sources for coyotes.
Coyotes may consider larger or loud dogs to be a threat to their territory and become aggressive toward them. Coyotes have lured and attacked dogs that are off-leash, and bold coyotes have attacked small dogs on retractable leashes.
What Attracts Them?
Generally, coyotes frequent a home or neighborhood if they find food, water, or shelter.
•Food can include rabbits, livestock, birds or rodents attracted to bird feeders, pet food, unattended pets, garbage, or fallen fruit.
•Water sources can include a pet's water bowl, fountain, or swimming pool.
•Shelter can include shrubs, a storm drain or any cave-like area beneath a shed, a porch, or unused building.
If you see a coyote near your home, don't ignore it. The coyote may lose its natural fear of humans, which can eventually lead to bold behavior.
How To Scare Off A Coyote
•Make loud noises, but DO NOT turn and run away; the coyote may view it as an opportunity to chase.
•Keep eye contact.
•Shout and bang pots and pans or rattle empty soda cans with pebbles in it (coyote shaker).
•Wave your hands or objects like sticks and brooms.
•Throw small stones or cans.
•Spray the coyote with a hose.
•Use a commercial repellent like mace, if necessary, on bold animals that refuse to leave.
•Move toward other people, a building, or an area with activity.
If a coyote is approaching a person or has bitten a person, seek medical attention by calling 911. Anyone bitten by a coyote must immediately seek medical attention from a qualified healthcare provider.
Also call your local Arizona Game and Fish Department office, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday excluding holidays. After hours and weekends, a dispatcher is available at 623 236-7201.
Tips To Avoid A Conflict
•Remove attractants outside your home, including garbage, pet food, water sources, and bird feeders that can attract rodents and birds for coyotes to eat.
•Never feed wildlife. It is unlawful to feed coyotes in Maricopa, Pinal and Pima counties per Arizona Revised Statute 13-2927. Some cities and less populated counties have adopted ordinances against feeding or attracting bears, coyotes, javelinas, and mountain lions. Violations can result in a fine of up to $300. Check your local city and county ordinances.
•Encourage your neighbors not to feed coyotes or leave anything out that might attract the animals.
•Feed your pets inside and never leave them unattended, especially at dusk and dawn when coyotes are most active. If it's necessary to leave a small pet outside unattended, keep it in a sturdy enclosure with a roof.
•Keep poultry, rabbits, and rodents in secure enclosures with roofs.
•Trim and remove any ground-level shrubs and branches that provide hiding places or den sites for coyotes or their prey.
•Secure garbage containers and eliminate odors by cleaning trash cans with a 10 percent chlorine bleach solution. Put out trash containers on the morning of pickup, not the night before.
•When you encounter coyotes while walking a small pet, pick up your pet and leave the area.
Possible Health Concerns
•Rabies – Symptoms of this disease include foaming at the mouth, erratic or hyperactive behavior, and/or fearful, paralyzed or lethargic behavior. Call 911 or your closest Arizona Game and Fish Department office immediately if you see any animal with rabies symptoms.
•Canine distemper – This viral disease consists of fever, eye and nose discharge, loss of appetite, and coughing. It can be transmitted to and from dogs through bodily fluids. Symptoms can appear similar to those of rabies.
•Canine heartworm -Coyotes can serve as carriers of this type of heartworm, which is spread among dogs by mosquitoes.
•Mange mite – Coyotes may be a host for the itch or mange mite. Female mites can burrow into the skin. Coyotes with mange can lose their hair, which can make it difficult for them to control their body temperatures. Mange must be extremely severe before it disables a coyote. Most coyotes can survive with the disease for a long time. Transmission to dogs is possible through direct contact.
For more information about urban coyotes, visit https://www.azgfd.com/wildlife-conservation/living-with-wildlife/living-with-coyotes/.