Each state within the United States has laws on the books concerning the proper treatment of nuisance wildlife. But states differ in which animals are categorized as being legally “protected”. Most states strictly regulate the trapping and killing of the most common nuisance pests, such as raccoons and opossums. However, in the state of Georgia, coyotes are not protected animals, according to state officials. The lack of protection afforded to coyotes in Georgia stems from the rapid and problematic proliferation of invasive coyotes within the state. State wildlife officials claim that sizable coyote populations have spread to every county in Georgia, which is endangering livestock, domesticated pets and humans. For example, late last summer, a pack of coyotes chased after a Smyrna woman who had been walking her dogs. Luckily, the woman was not attacked by the coyotes, but one of the three dogs that she had been walking sustained several bites from the the animals.
According to wildlife experts, it is unusual for coyotes to attack large dogs, but the above mentioned woman, Trish Gallup, may find this hard to believe, as her 85 pound dog, named Radar, was attacked by two coyotes in broad daylight. Luckily, Gallup’s other two dogs, boomer and tracker, managed to avoid being injured by the coyotes.
Gallup had been walking her three dogs along her normal residential route when Radar suddenly ran toward the sound of a loud commotion. This commotion turned out to be caused by coyotes, and Radar suffered three bites from the animals as a result of his curiosity. Typically, coyotes are not spotted in River Line Soccer Park, which is where the attack occurred. However, nearby residents claimed to have recently spotted coyotes in the park on several different occasions. Although wildlife officials claim that such attacks are rare, they were not too surprised that the attack occurred on an area of land that is referred to as a “transition area,” as these are areas that contain mowed grass and several forms of vegetation. These areas are preferred by urban coyote populations for the lack of a consistent human presence and easily accessible sustenance in the form of discarded human food scraps.
Do you live in fear of coyotes where you live? Is the coyote population growing rapidly in your area?