Several coyote sightings reported in Radford

DGIF photo
Several coyote sightings have recently been reported in Radford.

RADFORD – The Radford Police Department has had several reports of coyotes being sighted in Radford, in backyards and other places, with at least one resident reporting a coyote nearly attacked a small dog.

“We had several reports about coyotes in Radford. Be sure to contact the Radford City Police Department at 540-731-3624 and Animal Control 540-731-3688 with sightings. If it is an emergency, please use the 911 system, but for non emergencies, please use the numbers above.”

City officials are asking residents to read the following information from the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries on how to deal with urban coyotes.

You Live Near Coyotes (whether you know it or not)

Coyotes are found throughout Virginia, including in urban and suburban areas. Coyotes are primarily nocturnal, meaning they come out mostly at night. However, coyotes are also active during the day, especially during the spring and summer months when they are searching for food to feed pups. Contrary of what many people think, seeing a coyote during the day does not indicate it has rabies

and is generally not cause for alarm. The best way to prevent coyotes from becoming a problem is to avoid giving them a reason to come near your home.

Shared Responsibility

Coyotes are present in every county of the Commonwealth and in many cities. Virginia’s citizens, communities, local governments, and DGIF share responsibility in helping to prevent

problems and keeping coyotes wild.

Benefits of Urban Coyotes

Although frequently unwelcome by people living in urban and suburban neighborhoods, coyotes can provide benefits to these communities. Coyotes eat rats and other destructive rodents in cities, as well as rabbits and groundhogs that munch on flowers and gardens in suburban areas. They also prey

upon fawns in overpopulated deer herds and help control Canada geese that wreak havoc on golf courses and baseball fields. Research has even shown that coyotes reduce the presence of free roaming and feral cats in urban natural areas, thereby increasing songbird nesting success.

An aggressive coyote should never be welcome anywhere in Virginia, but most urban coyotes do their best to avoid humans and seldom cause issues. Developing a better understanding of coyote ecology and behavior helps reduce coyote conflicts and increases chances of successful coexistence.