Woman spots coyote in River Oaks

By Amanda Cochran - Social Media Producer

HOUSTON - A woman captured photos of a coyote in River Oaks on Tuesday morning. 

Margaret Graeff said she spotted the wild canine in the 1900 block of River Oaks Boulevard around 11 a.m. 

“He walked in front of me on Chevy Chase at River Oaks Boulevard and then turned into the driveway on the Chevy Chase side,” Graeff wrote. “He then walked to the front of the house, and this is where I took the photos.’

She wrote the coyote walked toward the back of the house along the San Felipe side. 

Graeff said she warned a woman who was running in the area, and also a man who was walking a small dog.

Texas Parks and Wildlife has said that coyotes have become a common sight in urban and suburban areas as housing developments have expanded.

"You do worry about it. We've seen coyotes growing up and stuff. I think there's a lot of animals in the area you just got to watch out for," Jackie Modesett, who lives in the area, said.

Several folks in the area said they've also recently seen coyotes in their neighborhood.

"I was actually driving down the street and I saw one jump across San Felipe right in front of my car," Annie Duncan said.

While they aren't sure if this is one of the same ones, the fact it was spotted during the day is what bothers them the most.

"Definitely be careful with kids, you don't want a kid to think it's a dog running by and maybe a friendly dog and approach it. That would be terrible," Duncan said.

Yolanda Delgado, who we caught up with while walking her dog, said the recent coyote sighting has her especially worried.

"My dog is small, and who knows. It's really dangerous to the kids and animals around here," Delgado said.

Besides keeping their guard up and eyes opened, residents advice to other neighbors to do the same.

Experts offer some precautions you can take to manage coyotes:

  • Do not feed coyotes. Keep pet food and water inside. Keep garbage securely stored, especially if it has to be put on the curb for collection; use tight-locking or bungee-cord-wrapped trash cans that are not easily opened.
  • Keep compost piles securely covered; correct composting never includes animal matter, such as bones or fat, which can draw coyotes more quickly than decomposing vegetable matter.
  • Keep pets inside, confined securely in a kennel or covered exercise yard, or within the close presence of an adult.
  • Walk pets on a leash and accompany them outside, especially at night.
  • Do not feed wildlife on the ground; keep wild bird seed in feeders designed for birds elevated or hanging above ground, and clean up spilled seed from the ground; coyotes can either be drawn directly to the seed, or to the rodents drawn to the seed.
  • Keep fruit trees fenced or pick up fruit that falls to the ground.
  • Do not feed feral cats; this can encourage coyotes to prey on cats, as well as feed on cat food left out for them.
  • Minimize clusters of shrubs, trees and other cover and food plants near buildings and children's play areas to avoid attracting rodents and small mammals that will in turn attract coyotes.
  • Use noise-making and other scaring devices when coyotes are seen. Check with local authorities regarding noise and firearms ordinances. Portable air horns, motor vehicle horns, propane cannons, starter pistols, low-powered pellet guns, slingshots and thrown rocks can be effective.

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