Urban coyotes are becoming more of a problem in some Tulsa neighborhoods. They're showing up in unexpected places, even in backyards with tall privacy fences. Not only are the animals getting a little too close for comfort for some... in some cases, they're preying on family pets.
Katniss is an energetic and friendly little dog. But she was also recently a potential meal one night for an urban coyote in South Tulsa.
"She shined a light over the yard and a coyote had it's paw - had her pinned," said pet owner Dennis Lockard. "He hadn't done any damage yet, but he had her pinned."
When Dennis Lockards' wife shined a flashlight on the coyote, it jumped over the six foot fence in their backyard and was gone. Lockard has seen a lot of coyotes in his neighborhood near 101st and Sheridan in the past couple of years.
"It's not unique to our neighborhood; we're just going to have to learn to deal with it," Lockard said.
Drought conditions could possibly be prompting the animals to come into more neighborhoods looking for food.
"They're migrating to the neighborhoods because it's an easier meal," Lockard said. "It's an easier time - there's more shelter; there's more food."
Far too often that food is a family pet. The Lockards' have already lost two cats.
Just in the past two weeks, there have been nearly 20 sightings of coyotes in the neighborhood. Some roaming around the area, others lounging in front yards, others in back yards with tall privacy fences.
"I don't have anything against the coyotes or any other animal, but if they're starting to take our pets, and coming into the yards, that could pose a problem," said Tulsa resident and pet owner Dennis Lockard.
Dennis isn't sure what the solution to that problem is, he doesn't want any harm to come to the coyotes.
"Live and let live, but they are becoming a problem and we're going to have to do something about it," he said.
At the very least, he wants his neighbors and others to be aware and to take precautions to protect their pets.
"At night, we won't let the little dog outside anymore," Lockard said.
In addition to not leaving pets unattended outside, another precaution is to make sure you don't leave pet food outside. That makes it even more attractive for coyotes.
Also, make sure any outdoor trash cans have secure lids on them.