Coyotes causing concern in Sevier County neighborhoods

Coyotes causing concern in Sevier County neighborhoods

Posted:
The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency says coyote populations are increasing nationwide. Now people in Sevier County say they are seeing more of them. The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency says coyote populations are increasing nationwide. Now people in Sevier County say they are seeing more of them.

By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

KODAK (WATE) - Wildlife is causing concern for residents in some local neighborhoods. Coyotes are showing up in more populated areas.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency says coyote populations are increasing nationwide. Now people in Sevier County say they are seeing more of them.

Marsha Hayes runs a Facebook page to help missing pets in Sevier County and surrounding counties called "Sevier County, Tennessee - Missing Pets."

She says she fears many of those pets listed may have been taken by coyotes because she hears or sees packs of them every day in her Kodak neighborhood.

"Chased it down the driveway, chased it back and it went over in the field over in there," said Hayes.

She is talking about a coyote spotted in her yard, saying it is not an unusual sight at her home.

"You can see them laying over there during the daytime, and I'll look and I'll say that's not a dog, that's a coyote," she said.

She fears for pets. Her 12-year-old lab Maverick chases coyotes off her property, but she says she has known dogs almost as big to lose the battle against a coyote.

"A coyote will kill a dog up to 60 to 70 pounds. They killed one right here, my dad's dog, about seven years ago right on his driveway, just gutted him," said Hayes.

6 News took Marsha's concerns to TWRA.  They say coyote sightings are increasing because coyote populations are increasing.

"University studies are showing that there are far more coyotes in city limits than people realize and that they do really well in these urban areas. Actually urban coyotes, the life expectancy on them is longer than their rural cousins," said TWRA spokesperson Matthew Cameron.

They say coyotes do not like humans, but are able to adapt to areas around us.

"They're starting to tolerate us better, which means if your pet happens to be out at night, your cat, small dog or something like that, they could make an easy meal out of it," said Cameron.

The best solution is to keep your pets close by, and if you see a coyote on your property, scare it away with a lot of noise.

"It worries me because I know what they've done to one of my pets, and I fear for my 12-year-old dog you know," said Hayes.

Officials say if you feel coyotes near your property are a threat you can contact animal control to come set up traps.

TWRA officials say hunting and trapping coyotes is allowed all year long, so you can hunt them if you find them on your property.

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