Coyote confrontation? Here's what to do

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by JOBIN PANICKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @jobinpnews

WFAA

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 10:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Jun 5 at 9:56 PM

DENTON COUNTY — David Cavazos knew coyotes were very active in his neighborhood of Savannah, but he never expected a recent close encounter.

“When I started tying my shoe I started hearing these footsteps. I’m like, 'OK, what was that?'”

Cavazos said it was the rare moment he felt low on the food chain. He went out for a late night run in a rather secluded area. He said he was being trailed by five coyotes.

“You could tell they were in prey mode," he said. "I was the prey, and they were going to hunt for me."

Close encounters have become a recurring theme in the more rural parts of North Texas. As Collin and Denton counties grow, we creep closer and closer into what was once the exclusive domain of coyotes.

News 8 witnessed a coyote lounging on a trail in Plano in broad daylight, with bikers and runners nearby.

Trae Malone with Animal Services in Flower Mound said he gets four to five calls a week. The recent activity even prompted the city to organize a seminar on Wednesday to teach residents what to do when faced with a coyote.

“They’re getting so much used to getting closer to us, and that’s why we’re teaching people to be big and loud,” Malone said.

Cavazos tried that; he said he yelled and screamed, and it worked.

“I took off running backwards, as fast as I could, making sure I wasn’t being followed," he said. "[I was] completely freaking out. I’ve never been more scared in my life."

Obviously, Cavazos made it home safely, but he said his neighbors in Savannah have pets that did not.

The Humane Society of the United States says coyotes normally avoid human contact, but because the animals have become more habituated, they have lost fear of humans because of neighborhood food sources.

E-mail jpanicker@wfaa.com

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