LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — State wildlife experts say that coyotes have expanded into our area in the last 30 or so years, but it isn’t anything to be concerned about.
Many in rural and suburban areas have heard or spotted coyotes this winter, which left some wondering whether there are more of them here in Michigan and what that means for people.
Adam Bump is the Michigan Department of Natural Resources expert who focuses on coyotes and similar animals. He said that in the last 10 to 15 years, the DNR has heard more complaints about — or at least interest in — coyotes from people in suburban and urban areas.
“You have multiple generations now that have never been anywhere except in that urban suburban kind of area,” he explained. “They’re more bold. They don’t have any reason to fear people. There is nothing they associate negative towards humans, so they are probably just more visible.”
As people continue to build into habitat of many wild animals, the odds of an encounter increase. And with more people having smartphones with cameras on hand, more people are snapping photos.
It seems coyotes are almost everywhere — even in urban areas like the Miracle Mile in Chicago — but they don’t generally pose a big problem.
“They definitely can and do occasionally take chickens and small pets, on rare occasions they do prey on them, but it’s probably much more rare than people would think that it is,” Bump said.
Still, Bump says coyotes are wild animals and as such deserve to be respected.
“I don’t think they pose a significant threat to the human population. I think they are like any other type of wildlife where I would advise caution,” he said.