Coyotes in Indianapolis got brave with some family dogs.
Dustin Ecker has two dogs and a big backyard with a pond. The dogs love going in the yard that borders the woods, and it's easy to let the dogs out for the day where they can run and play.
But when Ecker's neighbor showed him a picture of what else was in the yard, the dogs likely won't be let out without supervision from now on, or at least until the spring when smaller prey animals come out.
The dogs were let out into the backyard, and two giant coyotes met them at the fence. The coyotes, or coyote-wolf hybrids, looked hungry.
While the dogs are medium-sized, one looks to be a Boxer, and coyotes rarely go after animals their own size, they will attack pets if they are hungry enough. On the other hand, if there is a surplus of food in the area, coyotes can live side-by-side with domestic animals. Coyote populations can be found in almost every urban area in the United States and tend to stick to more natural diets.
There have been instances where coyotes play with cats and dogs.
But the temperatures in Indianapolis in January were way below average, especially the first week of the new year. This sudden drop in temperature likely sent any prey like rabbits and mice deeper into hibernation, and it is possible the coyotes could not find food. The evening the photo was taken, the temperature was above average, so maybe the coyotes were out hunting and scavenging.
Many who saw the photo doubted they were even coyotes, but traveling wolves or some hybrid. There is a species of a large coyote called the eastern coyote that is a coyote-wolf mix, likely descending from the gray wolves reintroduced in Ontario. This large species of coyote is usually seen in New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia. Still, it is possible they made their way into Indiana.
That being said, coyote sightings were on the rise in Indianapolis.
Regardless if coyotes are hungry or not, you must always keep a close eye on your pet, especially if they are a small dog or cat. Another way to keep your pets safe is to leash them when on hikes.
Have you ever run into a coyote with your dogs? Tell us about it in the comments below.
This post was originally published on February 1, 2018
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