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Coyote sightings around Omaha increasing

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 8:51 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Reports of coyote sightings have been on the rise in the Omaha area, and authorities think it has something to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wildlife experts tell us people are seeing more of the animals because many of us are spending more time at home.

“People are paying attention a little more this year ‘cause they’re still inside because of COVID and have time to look at security footage and to look out their window, so we are getting more calls for coyotes this year but I don’t think it represents a high increase in the population of coyotes,” said Laura Stastny, executive director of Nebraska Wildlife Rehab.

Over the last few years, the population of coyotes in urban areas has been increasing. Officials say they’re also seeing more in Omaha and Lincoln, but while the numbers are up, there might not be as many wild animals around as you might think.

One coyote picked up on someone’s security camera northwest of the Omaha-metro area seems to be a good-sized animal.

“Our native coyotes tend to weigh around 30 to 35 pounds, Stastny said. “Some of the largest are 40-45 pounds, so you have large dogs or adult human beings — you’re not at risk for being attacked or injured by a coyote. They’re way more afraid of you than we are of them.”

But while the coyotes are not particularly a threat to humans, experts say we should still be concerned.

“I would say that it’s very uncommon for a coyote to attack any size of human being because coyotes like all wildlife see humans as predators. Even small humans but you can’t ever rule out an injured coyote or one that’s had trouble hunting attacking a very small human.”

If you see a coyote, experts say don’t call police unless the animal presents an immediate danger to people.

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