ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – You’ve probably heard the howl enough to know that coyotes are getting active in and around Albuquerque. Now city biologists are trying something new to keep people out of the wild animal’s way.
In the next few weeks, the city hopes to put new signs up in places like the Bosque, warning people where to look out for coyotes.
While online videos show people finding coyotes where they don’t expect it, biologists say coyotes are nothing new for Albuquerque.
“We’ll get calls from people who are spotting them on UNM campus, anywhere down around the Bosque area,” said Dr. Paul Smith, manager of the Urban Biology Division of the city’s Environmental Health Department.
What is new this year is how the city is looking to treat the animals.
“We’re hoping that you know people take a little bit more responsibility,” said Dr. Smith.
Smith says the city is now looking to identify exactly where coyotes are living and tell people nearby to watch out.
“This is breeding season for those coyotes and when they have those pups they get a little more aggressive,” said Dr. Smith.
City biologists showed News 13 an old coyote den Tuesday, which looked like a large hole dug into a road side near Mesa del Sol.
“The only thing is the size, we don’t have any other animals that would be this big, typically you’d see more track coming through,” said one city employee looking at the coyote den.
In the next few weeks, the city says it will start surveying coyote dens, then post signs nearby.
“Warning people that there is a coyote den in the area and that they may be a little bit more aggressive in protecting that site,” said Dr. Smith.
The city’s plan is to put the coyote warning signs in open space, especially areas where people take their pets.
“Maintain those pets on the leash and lets do what we can to eliminate or avoid any potential conflicts,” Dr. Smith.
Some dog owners like Karina Gonzales say they appreciate the warning.
“Definitely I think it’s good that their putting up signs, as humans who live in a city, the coyotes have been around longer than we have, so it’s good that we co-exist,” said Gonzales.
City biologists estimate there are around 200 coyotes living in and around Albuquerque.
Typically, the city says it receives a couple hundred calls about the animals each year. They say some of the most sightings come from the Foothills and the westside near Ladera golf course and the Petroglyphs.
The city is partnering with a non-profit called “Project Coyote” to help roll-out the new warning program.
If you have an aggressive encounter with a coyote, the city says to call 311.