Coyote complaints are on the rise in Central Texas. Residents have spotted them lurking in neighborhoods, near parks and now schools.
Texas Parks and Wildlife explains the four legged creatures have become fearless.
“Coyotes are well adaptive scavengers, predators,” said spokesperson Tom Harvey.
In other words where the food is, coyotes will go.
“Once a wild animal associates people with a meal then you have a permanent nuisance,” Harvey said.
Already this year Austin has received 86 coyote complaints. By this time last year there were 74.
And Austin isn’t alone — the Round Rock School District has received complaints near Great Oaks, Brushy Creek and England Elementary.
Spokesperson JoyLynn Occhiuzzi says although human attacks are rare, they are taking extra precautions to keep kids safe.
They are supervising kids outside and at recess — and telling them how to protect themselves.
“It’s very important we start with the younger students sharing the message of staying away from animals you don’t know,” said Occhiuzzi.
If a coyote does approach, the district instructs children to yell, waive their arms and stomp their feet.
If the animal doesn’t leave, walk away and call for help.
“Whether it be a coyote, dog or cat the earlier we get them that message it becomes a part of their daily routine as they grow into middle and high school,” Occhiuzzi said.