Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke has had reports of coyote sightings within the city limits in the past several weeks.
“It is not unusual for them to be on the move this time of the year,” Burke said. “The females are giving birth and they are hungry. They tend to go for the easy meal — pet food left outside, garbage overflowing from trash containers and Dumpsters, even unattended domestic animals left outside.”
Burke said they have been seen alone as well as in small packs of two to five animals.
“The city of Hillsboro had a problem with coyotes during the past year and they began a program of trapping or shooting them,” he said. “It worked well for them and we are considering the same thing.”
Burke contacted Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and was told that coyotes are considered “furbearing varmints” and can be exterminated wherever they are found.
“Peabody residents should be aware that this is a problem,” Burke said. “Making it difficult for them to find food is the best way for people to keep the coyotes away from homes and businesses.
“Feeding their own pets inside or at least removing food the animals don’t finish is a good start. They should also make sure their own domestic animals are caged or on a leash rather than running at large,” he added.
Burke also urged people to keep lids fastened on trash containers.
“It may take a bungee cord to hold the lid on the polycarts we have for our trash,” he said. “A hungry coyote could pull one over and get to the contents.”
Burke also reminds that it is against the law to discharge a firearm in the city limits, so individuals should not try to take care of the problem if they spot the animals in town.
For more information or to report a coyote sighting, contact Peabody Police Department at (620) 983-2133.