The Druid City is no stranger to the wilder side of the animal kingdom. We've seen an increasing amount of alligators as well as an invasion of armyworms--and who could forget the infamous Alberta Python?

There's another animal that's been spotted on the prowl: coyotes.

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Are Coyotes REALLY in Tuscaloosa?

Experts say the coyote population has shifted into the southeastern United States in the past 50 years as the coyote's natural habitat has turned into cities and suburbs. From a glance, it's easy to mistake a coyote for a stray dog with their slender snouts and bushy tails, but these predators aren't pups. Coyotes have--and continue to be--spotted throughout Alabama, including here in Tuscaloosa.


Are Your Pets Safe?

Coyotes have been known to kill cats and dogs, especially those who live outdoors. Coyotes, however, are omnivorous scavengers. They'll eat garbage, vegetation or just about anything to get their stomachs full. Pet attacks are rare, but it's still a good idea to ensure your dog or cat is safe inside at night.

When Are Coyotes on the Prowl?

Coyotes can be seen at any time during the day, but they tend to be most active in the early evening hours or the moments before sunrise. Due to the recent increase in coyote populations in Alabama, the state allows night hunting with a permit.

What Should You Do If You See a Coyote?

When you spot a coyote, it's best to leave the animal alone. Don't encourage them to come closer to you or attempt to lure them in with food. Experts also advise keeping your pet's food outside of the reach of wildlife.

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