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Coyote Mating Season Increases Appearances in Ohio

COLUMBUS (Alex May/Kate Liebers) -- More central Ohioans have reported coyote sightings in recent weeks -- a typical trend for the season, according to wildlife experts.

The timing of the increase in sightings coincides with the animals' mating season.

"Right now you're seeing them because it's mating season and they're looking for food sources," said Karen Norris of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. 

While coyotes are considered common in both rural and urban areas throughout Ohio, wildlife experts said that the snow could be influencing the number sightings.

"You would never have seen these animals if the snow hadn't been on," Norris said. "It would have been a little more camouflaged."

The animals' presence has raised concerns, especially after a veterinarian attributed one Upper Arlington dog's death to a coyote attack last week.

They have even edged into the downtown area. An ABC 6/FOX 28 photojournalist took photos of one in the loading bay of a parking garage on East Broad Street.

To control the population, ODNR encourages hunting and trapping the animals -- though trapping is only permitted in urban settings. The state has no limit on how many coyotes may be hunted.

In terms of residents' own property, ODNR officials recommend limiting anything that could be considered a food source and scaring off the coyotes that are spotted.  

"You do want to keep a watchful eye on your pet," Norris said. "Don't feed your pets outside. That's attracting coyotes to your yard."

For more information about the coyote population in Ohio, click here.

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