Bedford Animal Services has recently received reports of residents having close encounters with coyotes around St. Michael Catholic Church, 3713 Harwood Rd. Coyotes have been in this area for decades and residents have not had previous issues with them, as these animals tend to keep their distance from humans. However, some of these coyotes have now been approaching people, which is a common behavior in wild animals that have been fed by humans.
So far, there has not been a report of a coyote encountering a resident or their pet. However, if these animals continue to be fed and approach humans without fear, the chances of an incident occurring will increase. The City has an ordinance strictly prohibiting the feeding of wildlife, in order to protect residents and their pets from wildlife who lose their fear of humans.
Bedford Animal Services works closely with a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologist, who has been informed of these reports. If you happen to run into a coyote, TPWD recommends the following:
- Use noise making and other scaring devices when coyotes are seen. Portable air horns, vehicle horns, and whistles can be effective. You can also throw an object, such as a tennis ball, near the animal without the intent to injure it.
- Keep pet food and water inside. Keep garbage securely stored, especially if it is put on the curb for collection.
- Walk pets on a leash and accompany them outside, especially at night.
These methods have proven highly successful in residential areas where coyotes and bobcats become too comfortable around humans. Bedford Animal Services also encourages anyone who has information regarding individuals feeding wildlife to call 817-952-2191. A citation may be issued to anyone in violation of the wildlife feeding ordinance. For additional coyote and bobcat safety tips, please visit www.bedfordtx.gov/wildlife.