(On behalf of Gibby Andry Law, New Orleans, LA)
It seems coyotes have found new homes in our neighborhoods, with most recent reports in River Ridge, City Park, Uptown, and near Slidell. While coyotes are naturally fearful of humans, we could be inadvertently encouraging them to come closer to our homes. We should actively discourage them from becoming less fearful of us and from cohabitating with us.
Here are some suggestions to minimize interaction with these wild animals:
â€¢ Do not feed them
â€¢ Do not corner them
â€¢ Protect small children, dogs and cats
â€¢ Keep outside areas well lit
â€¢ Do not leave out pet food, garbage, refuse or brush
â€¢ Fence your yard
â€¢ Obey leash laws in your area
While attacks against humans are rare, those attacked by a coyote or any wild animal should call 911 immediately. Rabies is a real risk. There is no cure for this disease once symptoms present themselves; however, prompt vaccination may provide some immunity. It is also important to contact animal control, whether or not medical treatment is received.
Wild animals are not our only concern. Pets can be dangerous too! We hear about dog attacks in the news regularly but take into consideration that injuries, infection, or even death result from attacks or bites by pet cats, rabbits, birds, and rodents. Snakes, frogs and turtles can be dangerous as well, as they can transmit salmonella germs on their body even when they appear healthy.
Animal attacks take place in our homes, neighborhoods, parks, pet stores, or at our favorite outdoor dining and coffee spots. Even the cute creatures begging for our attention are reason for caution and concern, especially when the kiddos are around. Think twice about allowing children to approach or pet a strange animal and caution them against doing so outside of an adultâ€™s presence. If bitten, play it safe and seek medical attention immediately, especially if the skin is punctured in any way â€“ even if the pet seems healthy. Injury or infection from an animal can be crippling and debilitating, leaving physical and emotional scarring. Many personal injury lawsuits are filed each year as a result of animal attacks. Protect yourself and your children by using caution around all animals.