LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- If you live in the southern valley, don't be surprised if you see more coyotes than usual.
While coyotes prefer to conduct their stealth prowling after the sun sets, late winter is their mating season when they are seen more frequently during daylight hours.
This has pet owners in the Anthem—Seven Hills area literally on edge. Their homes border the foothills which is prime coyote country.
Tonight, part two of Jessica Moore’s special report on Coyote Concerns with tips on how to keep family pets safe.
Dogs like Coco are a common sight in anthem and now, so are coyotes.
“A few weeks ago I saw several coyotes walking together, just walking up Anthem Parkway,” said pet owner Andrea Weinberger.
Coco's owner, Andrea Weinberger, doesn't feel safe leaving her dog in the backyard of her home unattended.
Even with wrought iron fencing or high privacy walls like the walls of her home.
Experts confirm coyotes can slip through fence bars and jump walls as high at seven feet.
“Yes, i've had several friends who've actually had packs come to their backyards” she says.
Turns out one of the best ways to keep your pets safe is to stay near them, whether in the backyard or in the neighborhood.
Coyotes are generally shy and scared of humans so leash your dog while on a walk.
Nielsen says- if a dog chases a coyote, the coyote's not going to lose because they earn their living in a harsh environment.
The higher- than- normal coyote viewings caused Anthem Country Club's Home Owners Association to publish a warning with an article alerting homeowners to the increase. Security Chairman Tom Geist researched the topic and wrote it.
"Our HOA tries to be very proactive," Geist said.
The HOA had received reports that people in the country club were actually feeding the coyotes, which is another bad idea.
“It was left out by the gates, as opposed to near the house where you'd feed a pet,” he says. "Food that's left outside, whether for a pet or a coyote, will only bring these natural predators into our neighborhoods."
Coyotes mostly dine on rabbits, rodents, birds and insects and they'll dig through trash but if they can't find food, they may go after pets, as Patrick Carson and his family learned the hard way.
Their dog Lola died after being snatched out of their backyard by coyotes.
“At that point my wife and I talked, the girls said goodbye and I stayed behind with Lola as she went to sleep.” Carson said.
While you may not always see them, coyotes are actually found throughout the United States.
Some were even spotted recently at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
Southern Nevada likely has more than most places because of its open, plateau terrain. But, of course, there's no way to count. Nevada Wildlife expert Doug Nielsen says coyotes usually do a good job of hiding.
“For those of us that are older, we all remember the cartoon Wily Coyote, they didn't call him wily because he was stupid,” Nielson said.
Coyotes are found all over the valley and not just on the perimeter.
”They follow those open space corridors all the way across the valley and into downtown las vegas,” Nielson said.
So don't assume your pet is safe because you don't live in Anthem. Be aware of your surroundings, be aware of what's going on smf don't walk with blinders on.
When on walks, steer clear of bushes, rocks and other places where coyotes might set up dens.
These tips are primarily geared toward pet owners. Remember, coyotes are scared of humans.
“And there really isn't an issue of them attacking babies or anything like that,” Nielson said.
Nielsen says owners of bigger dogs, like German Shepards and Black Labs, also don't have much to fear.
Coyotes tend to prey on smaller animals that they can carry off.
But the first recommendation from wildlife experts is to remain vigilant. That's the key to staying safe when you share your backyard with nature.