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See a coyote? Here are 10 tips to stay safe and protect your pets.

Wildlife experts on coyotes offer a number of tips for people if they encounter the animals. For instance, keep your distance and keep pets on a leash.
Wildlife experts on coyotes offer a number of tips for people if they encounter the animals. For instance, keep your distance and keep pets on a leash. Observer file photo

Coyotes aren’t just a rural problem — people and pets can encounter them in urban settings too.

With that in mind, here are 10 tips experts have if you encounter one:

▪ Keep your distance.

▪ Back away slowly while yelling and waving your arms. Throwing rocks and sticks might be effective. But don’t run.

▪ Call 911 only if your life is in danger or you are being threatened by coyotes or other animals.

▪ Keep dogs on leashes when walking them, as coyotes are much less likely to approach if a person is nearby.

▪ Look around your backyard for the animals before you let the dogs out.

▪ Never feed coyotes.

▪ Store trash in covered, heavy-duty animal-proof containers.

▪ Fence off outside animal enclosures and include a top.

▪  Don’t leave pet food and water out at night.

▪  Make sure pets’ rabies vaccination are up to date. If they come into contact with a wild animal the vaccination will save its life.

Adam Bell: 704-358-5696, @abell

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