CANTON (WWJ) – Police in Canton are warning local residents about a spike in coyote sightings.

Community Relations Officer Patty Esselink said they’ve been getting a lot of calls from homeowners in the Oakland County community — particularly on the city’s west end — who have spotted and are concerned about these animals.

Part of the reason, Esselink said, is that it’s breeding season for coyotes. This means the wild canines will be out and about, making them more visible, especially at sunrise and sunset.

To minimizing a potential conflict with a coyote:

  • Never approach or touch a coyote
  • Never intentionally feed a coyote
  • Eliminate all outside food sources, especially pet food
  • Put garbage out the morning of pick-up
  • Clear out wood and brush piles; they are a habitat for mice and may attract coyotes
  • Do not allow pets to roam free when coyotes are present; consider keeping pets indoors or accompany them outside, especially from dusk until dawn

In March of 2016, a small dog died after it was attacked by a coyote in a backyard at Saltz and Beck Road in Canton.

“Just make sure you protect your small animals,” Esselink said. “Don’t let them get out of your sight and keep them close to you; especially if you back up to a wooded area.”

Because we share the community with wild animals, a coyote sighting should not automatically be considered a cause for concern, Esselink said, adding that coyote attacks on people are rare.

“If residents feel they are in danger of a coyote, or if they observe a coyote in obvious distress, they should contact the police department,” Esselink. “Otherwise, residents are encouraged to follow the tips provided to minimize interaction with wildlife.”

Reports of a coyote in distress or causing a threat can be called in to Public Safety’s non-emergency line at 734-394-5400. Emergency situations should always be called in through 911.

Residents with nuisance wildlife issues are advised to contact Varmint Police, a private wildlife management company, at 734-729-0858 or at www.varmintpolice.com.

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