Coyote sightings are on the rise in parts of central Indiana and officials are warning people to be cautious and keep an eye on their smaller pets. According to the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources coyotes are native to Indiana and were a rare sight until the early 1970s when urban development began to expand into more forestry areas. Today, coyotes can be found throughout the state and are a common sight in urban areas as suburbs grow and their habitats continue to shrink.
INDIANAPOLIS -- Coyote sightings are on the rise in parts of central Indiana and officials are warning people to be cautious and keep an eye on their smaller pets.
According to the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources coyotes are native to Indiana and were a rare sight until the early 1970s when urban development began to expand into more forestry areas.
Today, coyotes can be found throughout the state and are a common sight in urban areas as suburbs grow and their habitats continue to shrink.
Coyotes generally come into residential areas when they're looking for a source of food. That could include trash, your pet's food or even your small pets.
"We see coyotes during the day, during the night," said Franklin Township resident Austin Carpenter. "I mean, we've seen them at all times."
Carpenter has lived in the Smithfield Neighborhood and says his cat became the victim of a hungry coyote last year.
"We went out to look for it and sure enough it was gone," said Carpenter. "My neighbor actually caught video of it getting the cat."
Just down the street from Carpenter, Sherry Keown said she had her three dogs running outside around 10:30 one morning when a coyote popped out from the edge of her fence.
She quickly scooped up her pups and grabbed her phone to snap a few photos.
"The coyote wasn't frightful at all," said Keown. "It just looked at me and kept going. It could have charged me because."
RELATED | Coyote sightings reported in Lawrence | Coyote sightings on the rise in central Indiana
We know they're out there, but why?
Indiana's Department of Natural Resources says the average suburb makes a really great coyote habitat since we're using their land to build on.
"Coyotes are very talented at living on the fringes of our dwellings and knowing how to live around without being seen," said Megan Dillon, Urban Wildlife Biologist with the Indiana DNR.
And while Indiana has its fair share of coyotes, Dillon says people often confuse foxes, coyotes and wolves - although there isn't any known population of wolves in the state.
"Most wolf sightings are determined to be either coyote or dog," said Dillon "They can be similar looking, but that is often what misleads us because a coyote is a tall and lanky creature."
While we can't get rid of them, there are steps you can take to make sure your home isn't as attractive to them.
Dillon says the number one thing you can do is to make sure your trash bins are secured.
When it comes to your pets, Dillon says if you have small animals its best to keep them on a leash and make sure they are supervised at all times when they are outside.
And if you do encounter a coyote Dillon say to do something "scary" like yell or throw something.
"Remind it that people are scary and that it should keep its distance," said
Most importantly, they say you should never corner or chase a coyote.
Coyote Prevention Techniques:
MORE TOP STORIES | Fishers police say call 911 if someone pulls up, says you've lost your license plate | Indiana high school student accused of molesting 17 little girls between 3 and 7 years old | 25 overdoses in 24 hours: One block of downtown Indianapolis rocked with drug issues | Man dead after police-involved shooting in Cass County | Mark Leonard, sentenced to life for the Richmond Hill explosion, dies at Indianapolis hospital
Top Trending Videos
Call 6 examines checkpoints, the resources used, the cost and if they actually do what they’re supposed to do.
Students at the Area 31 Career Center at Ben Davis High school got a special visit this month from the Republic of Uganda.
A Winter Weather Advisory will go into effect at 1 AM through 7 PM Thursday night. You need to start planning ahead for your Thursday…
Snow and freezing rain expected to impact Thursday morning drive
An Indianapolis man says broken equipment at his dialysis treatment center has him on the brink of hospitalization.