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Coyotes, Bob Cats and Bears, Oh My!

This time of year, everyone – including our pets – is tired of being indoors and we try to take every opportunity to get outside. But the outdoors is a more dangerous place these days as coyote, bob cats and bears show increasingly bold behaviors. The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) reports that wild-animal attacks are on the rise and warns that walking with a dog near their dens, where there may be new litters, risks extreme aggression. DEEP suggests that when walking your dog, carry a protective device, such as pepper spray or air horn, to scare the animal. If it approaches, stand tall, wave your arms above the head, and yell loudly. Move toward an area, but do not turn away from the coyote or run away. There are other ways to keep your pets safe: Always leash your dog and keep cats indoors, especially at night (an invisible, electric fence is not effective as the wild animal can enter the area, but your pet cannot escape); communicate with neighbors if there is a sighting; and identify potential den sites, such as natural dug burrows, rock crevices, hollow tree trunk cavities, and crawl spaces under sheds or even decks. Finally, contact the DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011 for more information on coyotes or other wildlife problems. Following these simple suggestions could keep your liberating walk outside from becoming a horribly traumatic experience.


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