Possible 'coydog' sightings raise concerns in Baton Rouge subdivision
BATON ROUGE - In the Oakbrook Subdivision off Perkins Road, multiple sightings of coyote-like creatures are causing concern.
After residents caught the coyote look-a-likes on camera, they’re realizing the animals could be a coyote hybrid.
“I’ve seen coyote, maybe three at a time, about three or four times over the 33 years,” said Carol White, a long-time resident of Oakbrook.
In the last year, the coyote-like creatures have been spotted regularly in the area, raising eyebrows and concerns. White's lived here for over three decades....and she's used to seeing wildlife on her property, but not like this.
“What I’m seeing now is not what I used to see," White said.
What White and neighbors think thy're seeing is a coyote-hybrid, called a 'coydog'. Homeowners speculate the flood may have something to do with the new sightings of this mixed breed.
“My concern is that during the flooding not all dogs were rescued and in their survival mode, they made it to the coyotes and the mixes aren't very trustworthy,” White said.
These homeowners aren't far off, according to East Baton Rouge Animal Control and Rescue Director Hilton Cole.
"There is such a phenomenon, it’s called a ‘coydog’," Cole said. "Now, would they be in rural and urban areas post-flood? The chances are, yes.”
The potential 'coydogs' have made Carol White too frightened to even let her large dog outside, and many neighbors feel the same. White says the suspected coydogs have become increasingly comfortable.
“When I let my dog out into his fenced area at night two of them ran from either direction at the fence barking at him," White said. "A coyote would have not done that, I was standing right there.”
Hilton Cole says these traits are common with the hybrid hunters.
“They are semi-domestic and semi-wild, they may have lost their fear of humans,” Cole said.
Homeowners have also reported sightings of packs.
“One neighbor said she saw about 20 of them all together,” White said.
East Baton Rouge Animal Control plans on assessing the issue by installing night game-cameras to hopefully catch video of the animals overnight.
After that, they can move forward with the process of moving them to a safe environment.