FULSHEAR, Texas - Several pets in Fulshear have been attacked by wild coyotes over the past few months, residents said.
Some in the area said many of the animals were taken from their backyards.
One pet owner said it's gotten worse, with coyotes coming out in the daytime and approaching people as they walk their dogs.
"The way he looked at me, my heart was beating so fast. I was so scared. I thought he was going to kill me," said resident Nancy Peyton.
She said she had an encounter with one of the animals, which lives in a wooded area behind her home. Peyton said she is terrified for her pets and the others in the neighborhood after her dog was attacked in November. She said she is concerned it will happen again.
Why is Fort Bend County seeing more coyotes?
Texas Wildlife officials said mating season is the reason for so many coyote sightings in the area. They said the animals need extra calories, so they may come out to hunt more frequently.
Officials suggest bringing your pets inside at night. They say not to leave any food that will attract the animals to your yard and to keep your garbage secure.
What to know about coyotes
Texas Wildlife said the animal characteristically runs with its tail down instead of extended horizontally, as a fox does, or up as wolves and dogs do.
The coyote is an extremely intelligent animal with keen senses of hearing, sight and smell. It primarily is nocturnal and very opportunistic.
Coyotes will eat just about anything. They feed primarily on rabbits, rodents and insects, but they also eat carrion, lizards, snakes, fruit, vegetable matter and even fish. This adaptability also is evident in their use of cover.
What do if you see a coyote
If you spot a coyote, make yourself big, officials say.
Make noise and move to scare the coyote.
Use air horns, pellet guns and rocks to fend off the animal.
Officials said there isn't much they can do to get rid of the coyotes and residents must learn how to coexist with them.
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