BAINBRIDGE, Ga. (WTXL) — Bainbridge Public Safety is providing safety precautions for residents ahead of coyote mating season.
According to BPS, breeding season peaks in late February/early March and is when coyotes are the hungriest and most aggressive.
Here are some helpful and potentially life-saving tips BPS has provided to keep yourself and pets safe:
• Keep cats indoors, or at the very least, keep them inside between dusk and dawn.
• Don't leave dogs (of any size) tied up outside. If they are defenseless, they are no match for a coyote.
• NEVER let your dog outside unattended, even in a fenced yard.
• Do not allow pets to roam freely.
• If pets must be kept outside, consider installing fencing and motion-activated lights to discourage coyote predators.
• Never feed coyotes and always prevent their access to food around your home.
• NEVER leave pet food outside.
• Always clean your grill after using and store it in a garage or shed if possible.
• Make trash cans inaccessible and secure them with tight lids. Put your trash out the morning of pick-up.
• Make sure your compost bin is securely covered. Never add meat waste to compost.
• Pick up fallen fruit from fruit trees. Don't let it rot on the ground.
If you see a coyote in your yard or neighborhood, officials say you must try to scare them away. You can do this by yelling, stomping your feet, and waving your arms, or spraying them with a garden hose.
BPS says you can also throw rocks or tennis balls in the coyote's general direction. The goal isn't to hit the coyote but to frighten them away.
Coyotes are reportedly shy by nature and as afraid of us as we are of them. The animals generally pose little threat to humans but they are still wild animals and should be treated with caution.