Wildlife Damage Management, Internet Center for


Date of this Version

April 2007


Published in the Proceedings of the 12th Wildlife Damage Management Conference (D.L. Nolte, W.M. Arjo, D.H. Stalman, Eds). 2007.


Coyote (Canis latrans) attacks on humans, once thought to be rare, have increased in frequency over the past decade. In Arizona, the number of wildlife human encounters has increased as our urban environments have expanded into the coyote’s natural environment. Coyotes have learned to utilize drip irrigation, pet food, household refuse, and pets as prey. The problem of potential coyote attacks is magnified when people intentionally feed coyotes. In some situations, coyotes have begun to act aggressively toward humans, chasing joggers/walkers, confronting people walking their dogs, and stalking small children. People who live in areas where coyotes are present need to understand the potential hazard that these animals pose to their safety. To effectively manage coyotes in an urban environment, a variety of control methods must be implemented since no single method is effective in every situation. In 2006, the State of Arizona passed a new law that makes it illegal to feed wild animals (except birds and tree squirrels) in Pima and Maricopa Counties to help alleviate issues with wildlife. Unfortunately, the word has not gotten out, and people continue to feed wildlife. The Arizona Game and Fish Department had not reported any bites in the Tucson, Arizona area during the past 3 years, but this streak ended in November 2006 when a coyote or coyotes attacked and injured 8 people in Green Valley, Arizona, during a 13-day period. WS Wildlife Specialists removed 7 coyotes from the area, and the coyote attacks on humans ceased. This paper reviews urban coyote issues in Arizona and describes the numerous bite cases in Green Valley.