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Coyotes terrorizing Baton Rouge neighborhood

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BATON ROUGE - Jane Matheney has a small farm off Jones Creek and says coyotes have become a growing problem.

"There were 7 or 8 in front of my house eating a cat," she said. "Usually the donkey and the llama would run the coyotes off and the dog would bark, but when I saw this one, nobody was barking, nobody was chasing it, nobody was anything. And I think it's because they've been here so much they're just used to them now."

She says in the last year, they've lost two rabbits and seven goats.

"In broad daylight, we started losing goats. Me and my husband were actually out there and one came running right up and took one of the goats about 20 feet from us."

And it's not just her property, neighbors have lost goats and cats as well.

"It has grossly escalated," said Matheney.

Reports of coyotes creeping into neighborhoods in the area have increased since a new subdivision on Jones Creek went up.

"Coyotes are normal inhabitants of all these habitats," explained Dr. James LaCour with Wildlife and Fisheries. "They live in the woods. We have a lot of infringement of people, housing projects, what have you. The coyotes are displaced. They can make a living pretty much anywhere in Louisiana."

Typically coyotes will eat rodents. But when their habitats and food sources are compromised, their eating habits adapt.

"They will opportunistically attack pets that are free roaming or feral dogs and cats as well," said LaCour.

Wildlife and Fisheries says the best thing you can do is keep your pets indoors and walk them on leashes when they have to go out. If you see one getting too close, shout at it.

"Coyotes are typically afraid of people, so if you holler at them, wave and shout at them, they'll turn around and run away."

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