Local wildlife, including coyotes, are getting spring fever with the warmer temperatures.
Late January and February is mating season for coyotes, and they are not quiet about letting everyone in shouting distance know they are on the hunt.
Animal Control Supervisor Hannah Orenstein at the Thomas J. O'Connor Animal Control and Adoption Center in Springfield also said the warmer weather means they're also out looking for food.
"The weather is warming up so animals are coming out of hibernation. They're looking for food sources which unfortunately might include trash in people's yards, which is why people may see them coming closer to their homes then they've seen in the winter," Orenstein noted.
There's no need to be deeply concerned unless you have a small pet.
"[Coyotes] can seem concerning but really they're not interested in humans at all. So you just want to stay away from them. if you have small pets in your yard don't leave them outside unattended whether its a cat or small dog," Orenstein explained.
Even so, Orenstein said coyote attacks on pets are rare.
"If you can make your yard as uncomfortable as possible for them that can help deter them from coming on to your property. So locking up any trash you have, removing bird feeders, putting up fences, anything like that will deter them," she said.
It's important to remember that coyotes are pack animals. Where there's one, there's usually more not far behind.
Orenstein said if you see a coyote that doesn't look healthy, or is acting lethargic or erratically, contact your local animal control officer.
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