Eric Quandt heard a yelping from the back yard and ran out to check on the family’s Papillion mix dog, what he saw shocked him. “I was ten feet away from a large coyote who had our little dog in its mouth” he told me.
Eric went on “I startled him and he dropped our dog that ran away yipping and then our Lab tore after him and chased him into someone else’s yard.”
Those yards are not miles into the country, they’re around 106th and Sheridan.
Eric told KRMG this kind of sighting isn’t new for their neighborhood. “We’ve not had trouble but our neighbor has lost a pet.”
So have Dennis Lockard and his family. Dennis lives a few blocks from Eric and has had personal experience. “I’ve got two cats missing and one dog is missing in the area” Dennis confirmed.
Dennis told us one of the cats was older and he thought it had run away to die on its own. Now, he’s not so sure. Lockard also confirmed that his dog had a close encounter. “We went into the back yard and a coyote had our Corgi pinned, with its foot on his neck.”
One yell and a shine of a light and the coyote was gone.
Despite the trouble neither man has any plans to harm the coyotes. “They built houses in the coyotes habitat and that’s just some wildlife we’re going to have to make adjustments for” Eric told us.
Dennis agrees. “I like all animals, I don’t plan to start shooting at them.”
With all of the reports of coyotes you might think their population has exploded but you’d be wrong.
“There aren’t really more coyotes than normal” Tulsa Game Warden Carlos Gomez told me.
KRMG went to visit with Carlos who had an explanation for the sightings and issues. “Coyotes are around year round but this time of year it’s colder, food is a lot more scarce and because of that all kinds of predators are going to be a lot more aggressive looking for a food source.”
Gomez confirmed as coyotes live more and more in suburban areas the less they fear humans. Carlos said he can just imagine what’s going through the animals mind. “No one her objects to me no one here can hurt me no one here ever tries to do anything to me, in fact, they feed me.”
Carlos said the bottom line is this “they’re after an easy meal.” You can hear the conversation with Carlos by clicking here.
And that meal can come in many forms. “They’re opportunistic feeders” Carlos began. “They’re looking for trash and dog food left out, they’ll eat about anything” he noted. “They’ll eat plant material, they’ll eat rodents, and they’ll eat insects.”
Carlos said a trip into the yard with a flashlight will normally scare them off at night and keeping the yard clean of trash and food will help too.
So that takes care of coyotes but Eric smiled as he told us they have more than just coyotes in their neighborhood. Like what you may ask? “About every other Thanksgiving we’ll look out the window and there’ll be about eight or ten wild turkeys about the size of Geese walking down the road in the backyard, over the fences.”
Now if Eric’s neighbors could just get a parade of cornbread dressing and cranberry sauce, we’d be all set.