Are coyotes a threat to my children?

We hear coyotes (we are assuming) at night and are wondering if we should worry about them during the day with our children playing outside. Would it be likely they would come around and try to harm our children? Children are 3 and younger. We are in Parma. Thanks.

Answer: 

Coyotes are primarily rodent hunters but occassionally take bigger game (fawns, rabbits, etc.).  They have learned to live near humans because they can live on garbage, cat food left out, cats and other items associated with humans.  Attacks on humans are extremely rare.  They are heavily hunted and trapped here.  Hearing coyotes at night is quite common in Idaho near homes on the outskirts of cities and we haven't had any issues with them.  However, if you begin seeing coyotes near your home or see them acting overly familiar, curious, or habituated to your home and humans, you might be more careful with your small children.  Coyotes are considered predators and are unprotected in Idaho.  Should they get too close and become a nuiscance, you can contact a local trapper or predator control person or you can shoot the coyote if there are no ordinances that restrict shooting in your area.

Answered on: 
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 9:18 AM MST