BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) – Coyotes have been spotted more and more in several Brentwood neighborhoods lately.
Wile E. Coyote, of Looney Tunes fame, may never be able to outsmart the Road Runner, but he sure knows how to give viewers a chuckle.
However, the recent sightings of actual coyotes are no joking matter for residents like Chris Erwin.
It has been nearly four months since Erwin has seen his cat Birdie. He fears a coyote may have something to do with the outdoor cat’s disappearance and is worried his young children could be next.
“We went to the animal shelter and they start talking about coyotes and all the construction coming around, so we figured that may have been what happened,” said Erwin.
He added, “I don’t want coyotes attacking our kids.”
Doug Markham with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said the coyotes aren’t going anywhere, though.
“They’re here to stay and we’re going to be living with them here on out so the best thing to do is to have good home practices,” said Markham.
Courtside at Southern Woods, Stone Creek Park and Shadow Creek are just a few of the subdivisions where residents have spotted coyotes that typically prey on smaller animals.
Some reported seeing the coyotes getting dangerously close to their yards and pets.
State wildlife officials suggest calling an expert to trap the coyotes or hunting them themselves.
To protect your pets from coyotes, experts also suggest the following: Do not leave food out for coyotes to find, keep your dog on a leash while walking them and keep your cat inside, and if you come in close contact with a coyote, make a lot of noise to scare them off.
“More than likely it’s going to run as fast as it can because it’s scared to death of people,” said Markham.
Local and state agencies say open hunting season on coyotes is year-round. They advise, however, the best way to control the animals is with traps.