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Northeast Ohio coyotes getting more aggressive

Posted at 1:07 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 22:04:44-05

Coyotes have been around Northeast Ohio for more than six decades but recently, it seems they animals are getting more and more aggressive. 

Some Summit County communities, such as Macedonia, are asking residents to try to deter coyotes from the area during mating season.

"They've been here before the city was here and they'll always be here," said Macedonia Police Patrolman Christian Costello, adding that they've been receiving a spike in phone calls about sightings recently.

Police now believe one 'alpha male' coyote may be behind two separate pet attacks in the city in the last two months.

"They're dangerous in the fact that they're not scared of humans anymore," Costello said. "They're coming to people's backyards now."

Myron Gutowski lives on four acres in Twinsburg Township. He said several years ago, his dog Bee Bee was attacked and eaten by coyotes just a few feet from his door -- and right in front of his eyes.

Last month, his daughter's dog Romeo was taken by coyotes in Macedonia. 

"I'm not going to get caught again where I lose a dog and I wasn't prepared," Gutowski said. He is now asking local, county and state officials to figure out a plan to curb the growing coyote population, but after weeks of phone calls, hasn't gotten much traction as yet.

"I haven't given up and I'm not giving up," Gutowski said. "It's too dear to my heart."

Harvey Webster is the director of wildlife resources at Cleveland's Museum of Natural History, where several coyotes are on display.

Webster said coyote mating season is from January to March and peaks in February.

During that time, coyotes cover a lot of ground at night searching for a mate -- they are monogamous -- and it also means they need more food so you'll typically spot them out and about a lot more.

Then, after mating season, female coyotes have babies and the animals, again, need more food.

Police recommended that residents use a method called hazing to deter the coyotes. According to The Humane Society, hazing means doing several things including: yelling and waving your arms, using noisemakers, throwing projectiles like sticks and small rocks and using water guns.

The police department also recommended changing your routine of when you let your dog out at night and eliminating food that attracts other animals. 

Police said one 'alpha male coyote' is responsible for attacking several pets in the city. For that reason, the city is attempting to find that coyote and get him out of the area by means of live trapping. 

The city is also encouraging bow hunters to take out coyotes in certain areas.