Highlands Ranch is coyote country. No matter where you live in Highlands Ranch, coyotes are present. They are a highly adaptable animal and humans inadvertently provide them habitat and food sources. Normally coyotes feed on animals such as rodents, rabbits and other small prey items. However, they are opportunistic predators and will take a cat or small dog. We all need to take precautions to protect our pets, guard against human/coyote encounters, and keep the coyotes wild.
The biggest problems occur when people feed coyotes –either deliberately or inadvertently. Once a coyote gets food from or around humans, it associates humans with food and ignores its wild instincts to stay away from and fear humans. Trash, dog food, bird feeders, and compost piles are all potential food sources for coyotes.
When coyotes lose their natural fear of humans, problems are likely to occur. Coyotes should be afraid of people and it is okay to “haze” a coyote that comes too close. Make loud noises, throw rocks, or even use pepper spray. These hazing actions will teach coyotes that humans are not safe to approach and will reinforce their natural fear of humans; reducing the chance of a dangerous human/coyote encounter.