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Posted on: January 30, 2019

Report Coyote Sightings

The Town of Highland Park encourages people to report coyote sightings to assist the Town tracking sightings in our town – including attacks and aggressive behavior.

The HPDPS will use the information to identify coyote territories, travel patterns and places where unusually aggressive animals have been spotted. You may report a coyote sighting by completing the following online form (www.hptx.org/coyote). 

Emergency concerns should be reported by dialing 9-1-1. For all other reports, contact the HPDPS through dispatch at 214-521-5000.

The HPDPS has received several calls and complaints regarding wildlife issues, including Coyotes. Due to the recent increase in wildlife related calls it has become necessary for the Department to research and develop a plan of action for wildlife related calls. Therefore, the Town is working closely with Texas Wildlife Services, a Division of the USDA, who has provided a specialist in the study of, and if necessary the trapping or lethal enforcement of, urban wildlife.

In the meantime, HPDPS would like to make the public aware of a few basic facts regarding wildlife. The Town is primarily trained and equipped to handle domestic pet issues, ordinance enforcement of animal related ordinances, and loose pets or livestock. Wildlife are not domesticated animals and are a vital part of the ecosystem, even in heavily populated areas. Wildlife, particularly coyotes, cannot be safely trapped in most cases and if they are trapped cannot be successfully be relocated. The USDA reports that as a rule it is not good practice to remove wildlife, even from urban areas. The most common practice used by most cities nationally is to implement a Wildlife Management Plan and make sure the citizens are aware of the behavioral patterns and natural lifestyle practices of wildlife to co-exist with all forms of wildlife.

Until this program can be established it is important for citizens to understand that coyotes are not normally comfortable around humans. In most cases coyotes will only approach humans that they have previously encountered and have determined not to be a threat. Coyotes will normally only be near humans if there is a viable food source close by. Generally, the only thing necessary for a human to do to ensure their encounter with a coyote, or a coyote pack is brief, is to make a lot of noise and movement to scare the coyote. This almost always works and is considered the industry standard preventative method. Should this not work a citizen should call the HPDPS or if in imminent danger, call 9-1-1.

In most cases a coyote will not approach a human unless that human has a food source. Pets are considered a source of food for urban coyotes as their natural food sources are limited in populated areas. Citizens who live close to parks, fields, golf courses or any other area with open, uninhabited areas close by, should be aware that wildlife does exists in those areas and pets should not be unattended, even in fenced yards.

All pets are required to be on a leash, including cats, unless they are contained in a fenced yard and citizens should be aware that when walking a pet on a leash in a wooded area, or close to any possible wildlife habitat, there is a danger of being approached by various forms of wildlife seeking food. Normally humans are not in danger when this occurs and should therefore be very animated and vocal in trying to scare the predator away but keep in mind that you are holding what the predator considers to be a food source and an attack on the food source is possible. There is nothing that the HPDPS can do to eliminate this threat. There are no magic solutions to coexisting with wildlife, so each citizen should be aware of the potential threat of wildlife. We would ask that you please be patient and allow us time to address this issue in so that we are able to thoroughly investigate and research every plan of action to ensure the best possible solutions for our citizens.

Additional Information (provided by the City of Frisco)

Urban wildlife fact sheet

Citizens informational community meeting 






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