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Coyotes aren’t scared of people anymore, and it’s making them bitey

Coyotes have bitten four people in the last three months in Las Vegas, including two incidents in January

Martha McHardy
Wednesday 24 January 2024 14:59 GMT
Coyote chases little girl and bites her in backyard

Coyotes are biting people in Lake Las Vegas, according to officials.

Animal Control Administrator for Henderson, Las Vegas Danielle Harney said coyotes have bitten four people in the last three months, including two incidents in January.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife added that one of the incidents involved a little girl who was bitten by a coyote outside the Lake Las Vegas Village grocery store. In a separate incident, a woman from Wyoming was bitten by a coyote as she was sitting on a bench in the village, FOX5 reported.

Ms Harney added that coyote bites can occur unexpectedly, especially for people not from the area.

“For people that frequent that area or live up there, or even people that don’t frequent that area and just go up there for lunch or dinner or something and they sit out, they have no idea. They might just be nicely viewing, thinking they’re viewing the wildlife and it just walks right up to them which was one of the incidents of one of the bites. The person really had no idea the coyote was going to approach them and be that close that quickly,” she told FOX5

Amid the recent incidents, officials in Henderson now warning residents not to feed the wildlife in the area.

“The Henderson Police Department wants to let all our citizens know to STOP feeding wildlife and encouraging wildlife encounters,” the agency said in a post on Facebook.

Henderson Police added that coyotes only bite humans when they are “not scared of people.”

Coyotes are biting people in Lake Las Vegas, according to officials (Stephen Rose/Cape Cod Times via AP)

“Coyotes are rabies vectors and due to people feeding them they have become a threat to public safety,” the statement added.

“People who are bitten have to undergo rabies vaccines because of the bites. Rabies is a fatal disease to both animals and people. Wildlife is best viewed from a distance to maintain their safety and life as well as the person’s safety.”

People caught feeding wildlife in Henderson can be fined more than $600, but the city says it is now considering enforcing and citing people who ignore the warnings.

Nevada Department of Wildlife officials said 10 coyotes have been euthanised after they were spotted coming in for food at a specific time.

Officials added that they are unsure how many coyotes had been tested for rabies, but none of them had come back positive, according to FOX5.

In 2022, a two-year-old girl was attacked by a coyote outside her Los Angeles home moments after she had been taken out of a car seat.

Surveillance footage showed the coyote grabbed the toddler in its jaws and dragged the child several metres across the sidewalk before her father Ariel Eliyahuo charged at the animal and chased it away.

The girl suffered extensive deep scratches and bite marks on her leg but survived the attack.

Ms Harney said if a coyote approaches, you should begin yelling or throwing rocks at it. She added that coyotes can also be deterred by pepper spray.

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