By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
MISSION, KS (KCTV) -
It can be a little disconcerting spotting a wild animal in your backyard, but it's happening more and more lately.
People in Mission, KS, said they're seeing coyotes near their homes - something that's becoming so common the city is offering advice on how to avoid them.
Hope Meador said she doesn't worry about coyotes at the park in Mission.
"I hadn't heard about it, haven't seen any, have seen some foxes, no coyotes," she said.
Her only concern would be running into one with her dog.
"Just make sure the kids don't run too close to him. This guy would be fine (points at son), but my daughter might run over to him. It wouldn't change too much what we were doing," Meador said.
Kimberly Hess with Lakeside Nature Center said you're right to not be worried because coyote attacks are very rare.
"If it does happen, it's usually an animal that is sick. Mange is common in coyotes. If they get a bad case of mange it's hard for them to hunt their natural food, rabbits, mice, rats, snakes. Attacks on people are very seldom, I haven't actually heard of any," Hess said.
But there are a few things people can do to keep coyotes way.
"Eliminating a food source at your house will keep a coyote from coming to visit you, along with raccoons and possums. They all fill the same niche in urban society, they eat your dog food, your trash, it's an ample and easy source of food for them," Hess said. "Keep your garbage can lids on and don't feed your pets outside."
Cody, Lakeside's coyote pup, was rescued from a family that tried to raise him as a pet, something Hess said you should never try.
"He was captured as an eyes-closed puppy and raised with people and dogs, so he's imprinted on people - that's why we have him," Hess said. "He's non-releasable because he thinks we're his pack."
Cody's been living at Lakeside Nature Center for about three months now and they're working on building a habitat for him. If you'd like to donate or have a Missouri animal in need go lakesidenaturecenter.com or call 816-513-8960.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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