CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Carmel leaders are taking action after a recent increase in coyote sightings in the area.
They say they’re hoping to educate the public, and also hire professional trappers if needed, to relocate the coyotes.
People in the Brookshire neighborhood, a wooded area with a creek that runs through it, say this year has been particularly bad when it comes to seeing coyotes.
Experts stress they’re not looking for people, they’re looking for food: that could come in the form of a small pet.
“This year, they have been, almost on a daily basis… they’ve been behind my fence, in my backyard, and my dogs just go crazy,” said Kim Leary of Carmel. “I have a little dog, and I’m just petrified to put her out, because I’m afraid the coyotes might get her. I know we’ve heard horror stories of hearing about the coyotes,” she said.
Carmel leaders sent out a press release Tuesday afternoon, warning residents to stay mindful of their small pets, to not allow them to run free. They also recommend securing your garbage cans, eliminating artificial water sources, and keeping your pet’s food indoors.
Carmel plans to call in professional trappers, if needed.
“We have an animal control officer,” explained Nancy Heck, Director of Community Relations and Economic Development for the city of Carmel. “He’ll assess the situation, see if it’s something he might be able to take care of on his own, or if he needs to hire somebody to help with the animal control, and trap and relocate that particular coyote or coyotes.”
According to the DNR, February is also mating season.
“We know that this is their breeding time, and that it’s been a harsh winter, so they’re coming looking for mates and for food,” added Heck.
Deputy Tom Rogers, Hamilton County’s Animal Control Coordinator, told 24-Hour News 8 the coyotes in the county have always been there. He said the reason people are seeing them now is because the snow has been on the ground so long: the coyotes, are desperate for food. He believes once the snow melts, people in the area won’t see the coyotes so much.
Carmel leaders say if you see a coyote that is getting too close for comfort, you can call their non-emergency number at 317-571-2580.
They’re not the only community to warn people about coyotes lately. Greenwood Police have handed out flyers at vets and pet groomers, warning about increased sightings. They’ve also set up an incident map noting coyote sightings in the past two years.
Click here for more information on coyotes.