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Coyotes are common and often live in the same areas as humans. They serve an important purpose by controlling rodents, raccoons, and other species that thrive in and around residential areas. Like everyone else, they are just trying to survive. If we don't provide them with resources they need (food, water, or shelter) they will go elsewhere. 

Coyote attacks on pets are relatively rare and largely avoidable. While lethal approaches to solving coyote conflicts have repeatedly proven ineffective, making a few small changes to our own behavior can greatly reduce the chances of negative interactions. Here are a few simple tips to help keep people, pets, and wildlife safe.

  • Keep small pets close-by and under control when they go outdoors. Letting our pets roam freely, off-leash is not safe for them and it's not safe for wildlife. Domestic pets attacking wild animals, especially birds and small mammals, is an all-too-common problem.

  • Keep pet food, bird food waste, and garbage picked up and inaccessible to all wildlife to reduce the chances of attracting coyotes and coyote prey (rodents, raccoons, opossums, etc.) to your yard.

  • If you encounter a coyote in your yard or on a walk, wave your arms, appear large and be loud. Use a noise maker, whistle, or spray it with a hose to discourage the behavior.

Lastly, coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare and are most often a result of problematic human behavior (e.g. feeding wildlife). In Missouri, there are no known documented cases of coyotes ever attacking humans. 

The Wildlife Rescue Center has served the people, wildlife, and wild places of the St. Louis region and beyond for over three decades. Please feel free to call us 636-394-1880 or email us

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