Coyotes losing fear of people, biting them near Las Vegas

Authorities in Henderson, Nev., are asking the public to stop feeding coyotes in the wake of at least four recent attacks on people near Lake Las Vegas.

“We have seen a number of coyotes approaching people and biting them,” the Henderson Police Department stated this week on Facebook. “This only occurs when coyotes are not scared of people.

“Coyotes are rabies vectors and due to people feeding them they have become a threat to public safety. People who are bitten have to undergo rabies vaccines because of the bites.”

FOX5 Las Vegas reports that one incident involved a young girl who was bitten outside a grocery store in the Village at Lake Las Vegas. Another involved a visitor from Wyoming, who was sitting on a village bench when she was bitten.

Henderson Animal Control Administrator Danielle Harney told FOX5 that coyotes are losing their natural fear of humans because so many are being fed.

“These are wild animals,” Harney said. “ When they’re used to getting fed and not getting what they want they will bite people.”

The city of Henderson is considering stronger enforcement of a ban on feeding wild animals. Fines for feeding coyotes could exceed $600.

–Generic coyote image courtesy of ©Pete Thomas

Story originally appeared on For The Win