Michael Konopasek, News 9
YUKON, Oklahoma – Metro residents and wildlife experts say predators are invading central Oklahoma. Residents throughout the metro say they're concerned because coyotes are becoming more bold.
If you've ever seen a coyote, you'll know they really don't look that dangerous and wildlife experts would tend to agree.
But, a good number of residents disagree after recent encounters.
"They're not afraid of humans," said Yukon resident Chase Holmes. "They're not afraid of dogs that are three times their size."
Holmes is a Yukon resident. He says he has a problem. He sees about seven coyotes a week at his home, some of them strolling practically up to his front steps.
"The deal … with these animals is that they are becoming more and more bold on a regular basis," said Holmes.
Holmes, who raises chickens and turkeys with his wife, recently had to take matters into his own hands.
"I looked out the front window and I noticed a coyote running across the front lawn with chicken feathers hanging out of its mouth," said Holmes.
Holmes was forced to shoot the coyote after the incident. There have been more and more coyote sightings in the metro. Viewers flooded News 9's Facebook page sharing their experiences.
Wildlife expert Lance Meek explained the reason why people are seeing more coyotes. He says it's because of the drought.
The animals are trying to survive, so they're getting closer to the green stuff.
"You know where the green stuff is. It's around where people have been watering their lawn and the ditches," said Meek. "You're going to see more coyotes this time of year because they're following their prey."
Meek says cases of coyotes attacking humans are extremely rare, but people should stay alert.
"To know that a coyote could run up and take my daughter away from the house is a scary thought," said Holmes, who is the father of a small child.
The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife says it is not against the law to kill a coyote if it poses a threat, but the department does urge people who are concerned to contact animal control.
The wildlife department says residents are also spotting other wild animals in unusual areas because of this year's drought.