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Coyotes and social media myths

Posted at 6:19 AM, Mar 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-04 11:00:03-05

People on social media talk about seeing coyotes in their neighborhoods and trade myths about the creatures snatching up small dogs, but experts say these myths are mostly unfounded.

"One of the biggest myths that we hear, they're eating everybody's pets," Paul Seevers, a nature interpreter with Great Parks of Hamilton County, said. "In a lot of studies, they've shown that's just not true. Coyotes are very fearful and very timid of humans."

Seevers studies coyotes and their behavior. He said they are resource-driven creatures, so leaving food outside, or leaving trash cans open, can also attract them, much like raccoons and other small creatures. Even bird feeders can attract coyotes, mostly because the feeders attract small rodents, which could be easy prey.

While some people might see more coyotes in early spring, some people think this is a sign that more coyotes will come into their area in the next few years. Seevers, however, said this is another myth.

"Another fear that people might have is we start to see a few coyotes and in two years we're going to see way more coyotes," said Seevers. "No, probably what we see now is what we're going to get."

People can learn more about coyotes and talk to experts on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the visitor center of the Miami Whitewater Forest in Harrison.