Uptick in coyote sightings near Benton Harbor: DNR shares how to coexist while protecting your pets and property
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says every fall, young coyotes born in spring are kicked out of their dens by their mothers, leaving them to go exploring new unfamiliar areas on their own.
This leads to an uptick in coyote sightings this time of year.
Across Berrien County neighbors have increasingly been reporting coyote sightings.
The Benton Harbor Department of public safety took to Facebook to share these photos and advise folks to be on alert after word of someone possibly being bite by one in town.
This could not be confirmed by the DNR, Berrien County Animal Control, or the Berrien County Sheriff's Office.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says coyote attacks are rare, and they are typically scared of people, but it’s your pets you will want to look out for.
"We have coyotes in every county here in Michigan and often time they can be seen in urban areas, and subdivisions because there are really easily accessible food sources for them,” said Rachel Leightner the coordinator for Michigan DNR wildlife division.
Kerrie Miller, a St. Joe resident captured a photo of a coyote in her backyard.
Something, she says, is not uncommon, living near the old Berrien Hills Golf Club and the St. Joseph River, both nearby.
This is why she always makes sure to keep an eye on her small dog, Pepper.
"The coyotes are nothing new. She doesn’t go outside without supervision. We go out there with her with a flashlight and make sure nothing is coming around or sneaking up on her or anything like that,” said the dog mom.
The DNR says the best way to protect your home no matter where you live, even in urban areas, is to clean up and secure your trash, bird feeders, pet food, and brush.
“They come out this time of year, but there is usually nothing to worry about as long as you are doing what you need to do to make sure there are no potential attractants in your area,” said Leightner.
They say if you follow these tricks, coyotes can make pretty good neighbors: