Leaving food, water outside attracts coyotes

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KECHI, Kan. (KAKE) -

Leaving food and water outside is blamed for attracting coyotes to populated neighborhoods.

"The biggest problem is people feed wildlife," said Marc Murrell with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. 

Leaving dog or cat food and water for pets is providing a food and water source for wildlife, such as coyotes.

"Coyotes become habituated to people and it's usually the fault of people. Many instances, they leave cat food out for their cats. They leave food out. Coyotes become accustomed to coming into neighborhoods, eating that, and taking advantage of a good thing," said Murrell.

Around the fall and winter months, Murrell's team receives about a dozen calls regarding coyote sightings.

Pet owners in Kechi are growing concerned over the increased presence of coyotes. 

"At night, it just sounds like a huge howling party. I think the population is just getting higher and higher, and I think that's a bad thing," said John Speer, mayor-elect of Kechi.

Speer's dog was attacked and killed by coyotes in his own backyard in April 2016.

"Feel so bad for the animals that this happens to, and then to know that in some ways, those of us, as we build housing areas, we're kinda encroaching on their natural land," said Speer.

Wildlife experts offer these tips to keep coyotes away:

  • Do not leave pet food outside, especially overnight
  • Secure waste can lids
  • Monitor your pets, particularly small pets, when they are outside

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