DAYTON, Ohio - Increased sightings of coyotes in suburban areas are unsettling residents in southwest Ohio.
The owner of a Dayton-based animal control service for the region says he gets calls about coyotes nearly every day.
"Most of the time people are real nervous," said Jeff Kraznarich. "They see a coyote and they think they're going to be attacked or their children will be attacked, or their dogs."
Experts say people should leave coyotes alone, and call on animal control or wildlife officials if they won't leave or become threatening. Coyotes are more of a danger to small pets than humans. Officials are urging people not to draw coyotes in by leaving food out and trash cans uncovered.
"They are an opportunistic animal," Kraznarich said. "Just because there are people around, don't get too far away from your dog."
The Dayton Daily News reports (http://bit.ly/XC9pLK) that an Ohio State University expert will host an informational meeting this Sunday at the Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm.
Roaming coyotes have been reported repeatedly over the last several years in affluent Cincinnati suburbs such as Indian Hill and Mariemont.
Development has brought new homes near coyote habitats in woods and other areas. Although the wild canine is usually associated with the western United States, state officials say coyotes can now be found throughout Ohio.
Online: Ohio Department of Natural Resources: http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/