Coyotes once again on the prowl in Jefferson Parish - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Coyotes once again on the prowl in Jefferson Parish

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Harahan, La. — This is the time of year when coyotes become a serious problem. Harahan police and members of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office are going out weekly to hunt for the animals, which pose a danger to the community.

"I took River Road home, which I do fairly often, and as I was approaching Hickory I saw a coyote run across the street in front of me," said River Ridge resident Frank Brigsten.

He said what he witnessed grew more gruesome. "He went right up on the levee and then kind of paused for a minute and turned his head and there was a cat in his mouth," said Brigtsen.

So jarring was the site, he posted his feelings on Facebook.

"I want to remind the citizens to bring in your pets and also watch your kids," said Harahan Police Chief Jacob "Mac" Dickinson.

Coyotes roam more after dark. "Whenever the river comes up this time of the year we have the coyotes come in to the city," Dickinson said.

He said high water disturbs their normal food supply. "There's plenty of food, there's rabbits, all kinds of game back there, but when the water comes up there's no place for them to hunt," the chief continued.

Some people in the area said lately a number of animals have gone missing. "You can't blame the coyotes. The coyote is trying to survive like anyone else and looking for prey," added Brigtsen.

Police say everyone should be vigilant. "Parents have to remind their kids that they are wild animals, so if you see them don't go up and try to pet them. I would tell people to make sure that you pick up all the dog food and cat food outside, secure their garbage can lids," said the chief.

Armed with weapons, law enforcement has gone out in search of the coyotes in recent years. "We go out there with the JP guys and we go and we hunt for them," said Chief Dickinson.

He said they are limited in what they can do to attack coyotes while they are still roaming neighborhoods. "We always stay around the levee, because what people don't realize is, even if we see one in the neighborhood, we're not going to take the chance on shooting it in a populated area. We'll wait until the coyote gets back to the levee," stated Dickinson.

As for Brigtsen, he takes no chances with his pet. "We have a fenced backyard, but she's inside at night," he said.

If you spot a coyote, dial 911 for emergency responders.

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