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That's Not A Dog, It's A Coyote

Have you ever driven down the road and seen a large animal cross the road in front of your vehicle. The animal looks like a mangled dog that's a lot bigger than a medium size dog so you're asking yourself, what was that?

Coyotes have been migrating East since the early 20th century. They're able to adapt and expand into environments modified by humans and enlarging its range by moving into urban areas within the Eastern U.S. Eastern coyotes are actually somewhat bigger than the ones of the Great Plains and Southwest.

These creatures form families in midwinter when the females are in heat. However, bonding can occur two to three months before the actual mating takes place. This is the same time frame when coyotes are most seen by humans. A single female can attract seven males in which can follow her for as long as a month. Therefore, once the female has selected her male, then the other males go search for other females in heat. Female and male coyotes stay together to raise their pups together which usually consists of 63 days gestation period and up to six pups. Male coyotes average 18 to 44 lbs in weight with females average seven to 40 lbs in weight.

As coyotes are known to create families, they hunt independently. Coyotes are versatile in its choice of food; however, their diet consists of 90% meat. One coyote will kill smaller animals, but will work as a group to take down larger animals like an adult deer or a domestic calf. They have been known to also kill rattlesnakes by teasing the snake until it's stretched out then bite it's head and snap and shake the snake. Coyote's diet consists mainly on meat, but they eat a variety of different produce as well. This can include fruit such as berries, apples, pears and watermelons to beans, corn and wheat.

The coyote probably carries the largest number of diseases and parasites. Diseases can include rabies, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, encephalitis, and oral papillomatosis. Mange, lice, Nanophyetus salmicola, and fleas are just a few of the parasites that coyotes can carry. Humans can come in contact with these diseases and parasites if comes in contact with a coyote that carries them.

Attacks to humans by coyotes are uncommon and rare. Urban coyotes are losing their fear in humans. People are intentionally or unintentionally feeding coyotes which has coyotes acting aggressively toward them. They have been known to chase joggers, bicyclists, people walking their dogs, and/or stalking small children. Coyotes are attracted to dog food, garbage, pet food and sometimes feeding stations like a bird feeder. This also contributes to their no fear in humans.

Here are some facts regarding coyotes.

1. The coyote has a very developed sense of smell in which he uses for finding food and avoiding dangerous predators.

2. They use a wide variety of vocalizations in order to communicate with one another. Howls, yelps, and high pitch cries are known for a coyote.

3. Coyotes can walk on their toes to make little as noise possible for predators.

4. They use their urine to mark their territories.

5. The coyote can detect hunters up to a mile away.

6. They can reach a speed of 40 mph.

If you come across a coyote or have seen a coyote within your property, give Elite Wildlife Removal a call at 804-867-7184. We will be more than happy to work with you regarding any of your wildlife needs.

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