Ariz. wildlife officials warn residents about coyotes

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) -- Rising temperatures in Tucson may also bring a rise in coyotes venturing into neighborhoods this summer.

The Arizona Daily Star reports Arizona Game and Fish officials are telling Tucson residents the hot, dry climate may drive coyotes to look for water and food near homes.

Game and Fish supervisor Raul Vega says the predatory animals may be drawn to a pet's water bowl, swimming pools or bird baths and food sources such as pets, garbage, fallen fruit or rodents attracted to bird feeders.

Officials say the heat can prompt coyotes to find shelter in storm drains or unoccupied buildings.

"Coyotes may consider large or loud dogs to be a threat to their territory and become aggressive toward those dogs," according to the Arizona Game and Fish website. "Coyotes have lured free-roaming dogs away from their owners to attack, and bold coyotes may attack small dogs on retractable leashes."

Vega says making loud noises, spraying a water hose or throwing small stones can discourage coyotes. Homeowners can also call a wildlife control business if a coyote won't leave.