Coyote attacks on pets are on the rise in Port Aransas.

Since 2004, Erin has resided in Anglin. Port Aransas. She had no problems with coyotes until 2020 when one of them took her eight-year-old pet Yorkie, who has been in her family since 1965, from her home. May 2023 with her Chihuahua.

“I had a chihuahua for nine years, and she just disappeared into thin air. All I heard was a scream. It was terrifying,” Anglin told MySA. “I know it was a coyote because they are all over the neighborhood…I started hearing about other dogs when my dog ​​was taken. It started in the summer, where it was almost weekly. “

Coyote attacks on pets in Port A

Anglin said she was not far from her pets in both incidents. She let her Yorkie and Chihuahua play in her fenced backyard while keeping the door open inside her home. Anglin said the coyote jumped the fence, chased her Yorkie, and took her Chihuahua inside. In the 2023 case, she was unlocking her car with her back turned when the coyote snuck up on her Chihuahua.

She’s not the only pet owner to report losing a best friend to coyotes running around town. Mary Jane Mirza Chaffin, a frequent visitor. Port Aransas And she has a condo in the city, told MySA that a coyote grabbed her Boston terrier in April. Chaffin, who lives in Michigan, said she only had her pet for a few months but was very attached to it.

Chaffin said her pet was not on a leash, adding that she did not walk around and was on her lap as she and her friends sat in her front yard. Chaffin said she put her dog down to go inside to turn on the porch light. When she came back out, she couldn’t find him. Security camera footage later showed the shadow of a coyote. Chaffin said the coyote moved forward and quietly waited about five feet away until he put his pet down.

“Someone heard or saw it,” Chaffin said. “…It was a matter of seconds. There were at least five of us sitting in that circle.”

‘Don’t be afraid of people’

Shortly after the incident, Chaffin created a Facebook group called “Port Aransas Coyote Attack” to survey the number of pets that had been attacked or killed by coyotes. The group has more than 1500 members.

“They’re not afraid of people, and that’s the problem. They’re not just out at dusk and dawn. They’re out during the day,” Chaffin said after hearing stories from other people in the Facebook group. “…people said they were finding bases full of dog collars on the beach.”

Sheila Whaley told MySA that her husband was one of the first to be bitten by a coyote after trying to rescue their 15-year-old Australian Shepherd in July. For more than 15 years, Whaley and her husband have kept their RV in them. Port Aransas. They vacation there and leave their RV year-round. However, the two moved their RV to Rockport after a coyote tried to attack their pet while it was on a leash.

Whaley said her pets — with poor eyesight and hearing — can smell a coyote following them. He saw it and bit the coyote in the neck. She said her husband tried to get the coyote away from their pet, which eventually let go of the coyote’s neck. Whaley said the coyote ran away but bit her husband’s arm before leaving.

Her husband had three holes in his arm, which Whaley, who works in the medical field, repaired. Her husband had to get three rounds of rabies vaccine. Their pet died three weeks later, which Whaley believes was caused by the “fight for his life”.

“We’re done with the island because you can’t sit outside with your animal without fear,” Whaley said. “…I see them during the day. They’re in the streets in packs of threes and sixes.”

The city’s response

Chaffin said he sent letters to City of Port Aransas Mayor Wendy Moore, city council members, and Gov. Greg Abbott, who he said sent him a letter back saying he was in Texas. Parks and Wildlife will be alerted. On Thursday, Nov. 30, Moore told MySA that the city is aware of the concerns and is working hard within its legal rights and limitations to minimize any problems between itself and wild animals. Do what you can to

Officials with the United States Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have adopted a coyote action plan. The overall goal is to educate citizens on how to deal with coyotes when they are encountered.

In the action plan, one of the specific tactics is coyote hazing. If coyotes frequent an area, the action plan suggests they are not welcome. According to TPWD, hazing a coyote — or showing it every time it shows signs of aggression — will usually discourage its presence and help reestablish its fear of humans. Coyotes follow predictable patterns. TPWD said negative behavior can often be corrected.

Hazing includes the following: yelling, clapping, whistling, banging noisy objects together, or using an air horn. According to TPWD, you can wave your hands, stomp your feet, jump, spray water, or throw a small object with the intention of hitting the animal.

If you encounter an aggressive coyote, notify city officials and TPWD to document the incident. A well-structured coyote reporting program will allow community leaders to determine coyote habitat levels and make informed management decisions, TPWD said.

Can you shoot a coyote in Texas?

Coyotes live with and among people in all urban areas of Texas. According to TPWD, coyotes generally avoid people. TPWD added that coyotes are important predators in urban areas and suppress other wildlife populations (especially mice and rabbits, but also skunks and raccoons).

Responsible precautions allow people and coyotes to coexist safely in our cities, such as never feeding wildlife, keeping pets on a leash, and dusting. TPWD said coyote attacks on people are extremely rare and coyotes do not usually cause conflict. Targeted lethal control is an option in certain situations when recommended by wildlife professionals.

According to TPWD, a hunting license is not required to hunt extinct coyotes on private property with the landowner’s permission. However, TPWD strongly recommends the use of trained wildlife professionals to trap individuals responsible for aggression.

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