Wildlife sightings are frequent in Columbine Valley. Due in part to our proximity to the South Platte River and extensive open space. In most situations, people and wildlife can coexist. The key is to respect the wildness of wildlife. Most dangerous and potentially harmful encounters occur because people fail to leave the animals alone. Wildlife should not be harassed, captured, domesticated or—in most cases—fed. Intentional or inadvertent feeding is the major cause of most wildlife problems. It is illegal to feed wildlife in Colorado.
Coyotes are a fact of life in our area: It is important to remember that coyotes are extremely adaptable and can thrive in almost any environment, and many have adapted to living in an urban area. Under State regulations, coyotes can’t be relocated to other areas. However, communities can safely coexist with coyotes if they are given the right tools.
While coyotes are typically afraid of human interaction, they can get aggressive on occasion. If you come across coyotes while walking or hiking the Colorado Division of Wildlife recommends you make yourself as “big and loud” as possible. Using noisemakers like an air horn, or yelling and clapping can aid in deterring a coyote from investigating your presence. Humans are advised not to turn their backs on coyotes. You should face them and back away slowly if they exhibit aggressive behavior.
Pet-owners are encouraged to keep a close watch on their pets. Small dogs and cats outside can be an attractive food source for coyotes and other wildlife. Always supervise your pet outside and keep your dog on a short leash while walking.
The following list offers some additional tips for discouraging wildlife from visiting your yard.
- Please do not feed or approach wild animals.
- If you encounter a wild animal, “haze” it by yelling and waving your arms.
- Feed your pets indoors or remove food and water dishes from any outdoor enclosures each evening.
- Seal access to areas under porches or sheds that may be an attractive shelter for wildlife.
- Store trash in covered containers and do not put it out before the morning of the scheduled pick-up.