In the past couple months the Town has received several complaints regarding the presence of coyotes within the town limits. The complaints have ranged from simply seeing a coyote to reports of the animals attacking and killing pets. Although the presence of coyotes in Southeastern North Carolina is nothing new what seems to be a change in behavior, at least for the coyotes in our area, is their willingness to scavenge the more populated areas including downtown area as well as the residential areas immediately surrounding the central business district of Burgaw.
Unfortunately the research shows that this change in behavior is common for coyotes. Generally, coyotes are reclusive animals who avoid human contact. Coyotes who have adapted to urban and suburban environments, however, may realize there are few real threats and may approach people or feel safe visiting yards even when people are present. These coyotes have become habituated (lost their fear of humans) and have become accustomed to scavenging in your neighborhood (Denver's Coyote Management Plan 3-16-11). These animals should not be encouraged by either direct or indirect means by the presence of food. Humans should never offer food to coyotes and should take the necessary steps to prevent unintentionally and indirectly feeding them. Although coyotes rarely attack humans they present a real threat to smaller animals, including cats and dogs.
Town residents are strongly encouraged to visit some of the sites below which provide information regard coyote behavior and methods to deter their presence.
Pender County Animal Control and the North Carolina Wildlife Commission do not have programs to address the presence of nuisance coyotes in urban settings. However, as documented in some of the sites above the most effective ways to deter these animals is to eliminate the factors that encourage their presence, primarily food.