Coyotes have been spotted on the east side of Evansville, according to some residents.

The sightings reportedly occurred in Arcadian Acres and along Lombard Avenue. Coyotes in urban areas are not uncommon. However, they normally are not tied to this area specifically.

Wildlife experts say there’s a perfectly good explanation behind their sudden appearance.

“We’re in February now. That means we’re at the beginning of coyote breeding season,” says Department of Nature urban wildlife biologist Meagan Dillon.

Wesselman wildlife manager, Shelby Hall, says this behavior of coyotes appearing in rural areas is normal.

“Their hormones may just be going through the roof whether male or female they will do anything they can including broadening their range to find their mate.”

Hall shares some of the reasons behind the behavior which includes an increase in hormones.

With an increase in hormone levels, coyotes tend to search for more unusual food sources that could be found in places around your home including garbage cans and outdoor pet food. 

“The number one thing you can do is just keep away cat food, dog food. Coyotes are actually considered opportunistic eaters so they can eat fruit. They can eat really anything they can get their hands on,” Hall says.

Although altercations with coyotes are rare there are a few tips Dillon says could prevent one from happening.

“If you encounter a coyote in an open situation, say walking down the street, your in a neighborhood where the coyote has space to run away. That’s a good time to harass the coyote. So you can yell, make yourself look large, throw things, and that should get it to scare off. If for some reason the coyote does not run away from the harassment, then at that point you want to continue to try to make yourself look large and just back away slowly from the situation.”

If you spot a coyote in your area, wildlife experts advise you not to be alarmed and keep your distance. 

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(This story was originally published on February 7, 2019)