The number of coyote attacks on humans is rising in the United States, how long before this becomes a problem in Michigan?

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What is a Coyote?

Coyote, Richmond, Britisah Columbia, Canada
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The coyote is a species of canine native to North America. The coyote is smaller than its close relative, the wolf. The coyote was once referred to as the American jackal with other names such as prairie wolf and the brush wolf.

Coyote Sightings in MIchigan

A coyote in British Columbia, Canada.
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You may or may not have seen a coyote in Michigan. There is one thing for sure, they are everywhere including Grand Rapids neighborhoods.

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Gerard Garay/Getty Images/500px
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Coyotes spend most of their time hunting for food but at the same time avoiding human contact. Most people have no idea coyotes are near their homes frequently.

Coyote on city street in winter storm
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As the numbers of coyotes and competition for food keep rising, so does their movement into suburban and urban areas.

Coyote Attacks in the U.S.

Taxidermied howling coyote, sepia toned and grunged for effect.
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In Michigan, there are still lots of food sources for coyotes in the wild and in urban and suburban areas.

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Jeff Foott/Getty Images
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When you get further out west and southwest, the numbers of coyotes are much higher while the food sources are a lot more scarce.

According to Newsnation, a two-year-old was recently mauled on the family front porch by a coyote in Dallas, Tex. A week before another two-year-old was attacked in Huntington Beach, Cali.

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Seyedomid Mostafavi/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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With coyotes moving into non-traditional areas, that means small children and pets can be at risk. California has reported having nearly a dozen attacks per year around the state and most involved small children.

Coyote Attacks in Michigan

A California coyote above Santa Monica Beach
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There have been problems for years in Detroit where coyotes are killing dogs and cats. Coyotes kill dogs not to eat them but because they are also canines, they feel dogs are competing for food. When a coyote kills a cat it is simply for its next meal.

Photo taken in Edmonton, Canada
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Nothing eats coyotes except when they are already dead usually hit by a car or shot by a hunter and left for dead. They have litters of puppies and most have a high success rate of making it to adulthood.

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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources continues to deny that coyotes are a problem but wonders why there are fewer and fewer hunters entering the woods. On a lot of public hunting land, pheasants have nearly been wiped out while rabbit, and grouse populations have sharply declined. Coyotes have also done damage to the deer herd which is not as noticeable to people who do not hunt as those who have hunted for a lifetime and have seen coyotes going after young deer in the spring. I have hunted all over this state and can remember when you never heard a coyote or saw one and now I see them all the time driving to and from work through the country areas to downtown Grand Rapids. It's crazy to think that there is no correlation between the lack of small game and the massive numbers of coyotes there are in Michigan.

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Certainly Michigan does need some coyotes to keep some balance and to help get rid of sickly animals which are better for the ecosystem.

coyote portrait in spring
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There has not been a report of a coyote attacking a human in Michigan yet. I say that because it is only a matter of time. As the DNR allows the number of coyotes to grow to ridiculous numbers there will be more problems and eventually the unthinkable may happen to someone's child. Do we really need to let it come to that before something is done about reducing the number of coyotes in the Mitten State?

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