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Coyotes brazenly wandering the city



A coyote near the Vicksburg Police Department. (Photo by David Day)

If you had wild coyotes walking by the police department at midnight on your 2021 bingo card, go ahead and check that box off.

On Saturday night, just before midnight, a coyote was observed walking down Monroe right next to the police department. The coyote was not intimidated by the vehicle and continued on its path.

Photo by David Day

The state of Mississippi defines a coyote as a nuisance animal. The Mississippi State Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks on their website goes on to state “Wildlife in both rural and suburban areas will utilize food sources, as well as buildings and other physical structures, that are not intended for use by wildlife.  Depending on the situation, once wildlife becomes accustomed to food sources or structures, deterring them may be very difficult.”

Others have noted that the aggression of coyotes will be on high for the next several weeks.

The next 4-6 weeks is mating season for coyotes. People are advised to pay attention to their dogs or cats when they are outside. The outcome can be tragic as coyotes will attack your pets. Coyote breeding typically peaks in late February, and early March. Male coyotes, in particular, can become more aggressive during this time of year.

Steps you can take to avoid a coyote encounter is to keep your pet food inside. Even bird feeders that spill onto the ground are a danger. The spilled feed will attract small animals and coyotes feed on small mammals.

Keep your BBQ grills clean by burning off any food left stuck to the grill. The smell of that meat will attract coyotes.

Always supervise your pets while they are outside. If you are walking your pet keep them on a 6-foot leash.

Within the city limits, there is almost nothing to threaten these animals so they lose their fear of humans. Additionally, the city passed an ordinance against firing a weapon in the city. If you see a coyote you should not turn your back on it. Normally it is suggested that you make yourself as large and threatening as possible to the animal, but during mating season the males become aggressive and may see that as a threat and attack.

The best advice is to avoid the animal. They are looking for food or to mate.

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