Thursday, April 18, 2024

With sightings on the rise, Kure Beach to host educational seminar on coexisting with coyotes

Coyotes don't normally attack people but there is a level of fear among residents spotting these wild dogs which is why the Town of Kure Beach has sponsored the educational seminar.

Coyote sightings are on the rise in New Hanover County and the Town of Kure Beach is hosting an educational seminar on living with these animals (Port City Daily/ Courtesy N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)
Coyote sightings are on the rise in New Hanover County and the Town of Kure Beach is hosting an educational seminar on living with these animals. (Port City Daily/ Courtesy N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission)

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — As development continues to take over the region and more forested areas become urbanized, interactions between wild animals and humans is inevitable — one such interaction that has become more common is that between coyotes and humans (as well as our domesticated pets).

Because of this, the Town of Kure Beach is hosting a meeting titled “Living with Coyotes.” Regional Education Specialist Rebecca Skiba and Coastal Regional Wildlife Biologist Christopher Kent from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) will answer questions and talk about living cooperatively with coyotes.

“The Kure Beach Town Council is sponsoring a meeting on “Living with Coyotes” this March 4, 6:00 pm. If you live on our island, you may have heard the sounds of coyotes in our local forest. This education session is to help us understand behavior and get to the truth of living with these animals. This will include information on things to do and things to avoid,” Kure Beach Mayor Craig Bloszinsky said in a town update.

The event will be at the temporary Town Hall at the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Facility.

Coyote sightings on Pleasure Island have, at least according to social media posts, been on the rise.

Some coyote facts

While coyote encounters are not as typical as a run-in with a deer, they do happen throughout the region. So, what should you know when it comes to these wild dogs?

According to N.C. WRC, coyotes are not native to the East Coast and by the 1980s they had made their way to Western North Carolina. Now, they can be found in all 100 counties in the state.

While people remain hesitant about coyotes, attacks on people are very rare.

“Normal coyote behavior is to be curious, but wary, when close to humans. Like other wildlife, they will become bold and habituated if people feed them, either purposely or inadvertently, such as with garbage or outdoor pet food. They rarely contract rabies,” according to N.C. WRC.

Domesticated pets, on the other hand, are more likely to be attacked.

“Coyotes view outdoor cats and small unleashed dogs as prey, while larger dogs are viewed as threats to their territory and/or their pups. Coyotes are most likely to confront larger dogs during the mating and pup birthing period, January through June,” according to the commission.

Tips for preventing conflicts with coyotes include:

  • Secure garbage in containers with well fitting lids
  • Do not feed or try and pet coyotes
  • keep pets inside or in a fenced in area
  • Install coyote-proof fencing around your home
  • Feed pets indoors
  • Keep bird feeder areas clean and keep seed off the ground, coyotes are attracted to small animals congregating on the ground
  • Cut back brush that can be used for cover by coyotes

The New Hanover County Sherrif’s Office’s Animal Services Unit does not respond to wild animal calls; residents are encouraged to call a private wildlife control company.

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