The catastrophic flooding hitting the Houston area now due to Hurricane Harvey’s rain bands stalling will push the significant coyote and feral hog population out into the open.
The drainage ditch systems as well as the green belts near White Oak, Buffalo and Brays Bayou system are where coyotes dwell and use to travel throughout the metropolitan area.
How far do coyotes penetrate into this vast urban zone?
I saw a fresh road kill last year 1/4 mile east of the I-59 exit off of Interstate 10. They will be roaming the streets now and seeking shelter.
Most of the time coyotes are not a problem for people but when frightened and hungry threats can go up. Coyotes are also a rabies vector and can carry distemper so caution is wise for pet owners.
If you are in an impacted area consider the following to avoid coyote contact:
*Keep garbage inside or at least keep the lid on your cans.
*Feed your dogs and cats inside.
*Do not attempt to feed coyotes or any stray dog you might come across. Some have problems distinguishing dogs and coyotes.
*If your dog has to go walk it on a leash and keep walks short and away from any wooded areas or cover.
In addition to coyotes, feral hogs are an increasing issue in the Houston area with significant numbers along the eastern Beltway 8 corridor, in the wooded areas near Pasadena, Texas City and virtually all of the northern tier communities.
Feral hogs can be much more aggressive than coyotes especially when stressed and may be brazen enough to walk through parks, neighborhoods and yards as if they own the place.
If you see a hog during these flooding conditions chances are it it not someone’s pet. Keep in mind not all feral hogs are black. Many are brown, some are white, others spotted and even blonde.
And while they are not out to get anyone, they have no problem letting someone feel their wrath if cornered. Do not approach any hog.
Few Houston area residents realize the depth of wildlife in their communities. Now, due to these catastrophic floods they will get perhaps a very up close look.
Use these tips to ensure both humans and wildlife stay safe during this tragic event.
Chester Moore, Jr.