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Life in the Foothills: Living with Coyotes

In 2013 I spoke with an Open Space Sergeant at the Foothills Substation after he was a special guest at a community meeting hosted in the substation.  I wrote this piece after our community meeting for distribution to the public with the Sergeants suggestions on enjoying wild areas and trails concerning coyote sightings.  With longer days, warmer weather and more outdoor activities coming up, you may find this useful.  Be safe!  Jill Garcia, Crime Prevention Specialist, APD/Foothills Area Command

Dear Foothills Neighbors,

                Recently I encountered a coyote that followed me while I was walking to work in the early morning to the Foothills Area Command Substation. This female coyote approached from Manzano High School’s east parking lot and walked up Roma, then parallel with me to the station and exited to Lomas through the station’s parking lot. A few days later in the late afternoon my husband was out for a run and had one follow him on the Tramway Trail from Lomas to Indian School. On his return leg back along Tramway he encountered the same coyote walking parallel with him and the coyote then wandered up Indian School towards the Fire Station area. It occurred to me that it may be timely to ask Sergeant Meisinger of Open Space (839-6400) for a few recommendations on living with coyotes in our area.

 The Sergeant recommends:

  • Remember coyotes are naturally afraid of humans, but some may have been conditioned otherwise.
  • Never attempt to feed a coyote or leave pet food/water outside.
  • Always remember coyotes are wild animals and hunters.
  • If a coyote follows you or walks parallel with you, they are most likely guarding pups or a food supply and do not want you in the area.
  • If threatened, it is acceptable to squirt water or toss a rock in the area of the coyote, but do not pelt the animal with rocks! This is not only cruel, but illegal.  If the coyote gets injured, you have now put it into a position of fighting for its life.
  • If encountered, do not turn your back and run away; just calmly walk out of the vicinity.
  • If you encounter a coyote that seems overly aggressive, please call Open Space, Animal Control (both via 242-COPS/2677) or NM Game & Fish.
  • It is rare for a coyote to attack an adult.  They are more interested in small prey, such as housepets, as a meal.
  • If you do get attacked, fight hard!
  • We have to share our space with all sorts of living creatures who stare at us as we whiz by in crazy, colorful exercise/bicycle outfits and throw off our unnatural odors in their environs.  

 Please stay safe while enjoying the beauty of living in our Foothills area.