Police: Protect Pets From Prowling Predators
Coyotes and bobcats have recently been spotted prowling the border of Bellaire and West University Place, prompting a police warning: Keep a close eye on family pets, and never leave food outside.
Over the past few weeks, a Bellaire resident lost four pet deer to coyote and bobcat attacks. The woman used a motion-sensor camera to capture images of the predators.
“During the night they’d come in the yard and they’d kill the deer and eat them,” said Byron Holloway, assistant chief of the Bellaire Police Department.
The Bellaire resident’s large backyard sits adjacent to the greenbelt area surrounding the Union Pacific railroad tracks. Sightings of coyotes and bobcats are not uncommon in such areas, Holloway said.
“When they get here, animals have better hunting grounds than when they’re in the wild,” he said. “There’s no exit gate dividing wilderness from civilization.”
Holloway said he consulted with officials from Texas Parks and Wildlife, who said that the breeding season is underway for coyotes and bobcats, and the animals are probably just moving through the area. From April to May the predators will look for dens to raise their babies.
Texas Parks and Wildlife suggests that people take certain precautions to deal with the animals. First, do not allow pets to hang out in backyards unsupervised, and always use leashes while taking dogs on walks.
Next, people should never leave any type of food outside — From pet food and water, to unsecured compost bins, to fruit that falls from trees.
If people see any coyotes or bobcats, they should make loud noises and throw objects at the animals to scare them away.