DENVER - Doug Kelley knows more than most about coyote behavior. He knows their quirks, their attitudes and even their schedules. And, according to his calendar, now is the time when coyotes can be more active and standoffish.
"This is the time of year that we start to see babies," Kelley, an Animal and Wildlife Administrator for the City and County of Denver, said. "Pretty soon, you'll start seeing them."
You may also see their mothers, who are known to be very protective of those cubs.
"If you approach a coyote, and it's just staring at you, there's a possibility there's a den nearby, and they're just watching it," he said, adding that people should give the coyote lots of space and either walk around or back away.
Coyotes may also be more likely to show up in neighborhoods this time of year, hunting for food. Kelley said they will either hunt animals like squirrels, dogs and cats or find food in your trashcan.
"If they're smelling leftovers or something like that, that's like a buffet," he said. "Why go hunt when you have that available to you?"
Kelley advises putting away trash cans as best as possible and not leaving out items like birdseed and dog food.
Animal experts say "hazing" coyotes out of neighborhoods can be effective. Methods include using loud whistles and air horns to scare them away.
As coyote moms and their new pups go, Kelley says just leave them - and their dens - alone.
"They're not going to be aggressive unless they feel threatened or feel their baby is threatened," he said.
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