Numerous reports of unusually assertive coyotes in Elkhorn have prompted the Sun Valley Police Department to take action to dissuade the animals from hanging out in the area, Police Chief Mike Crawford said Thursday.
Crawford said the department has been receiving complaints from residents since early summer about coyotes following them as they were walking their dogs on the bike path and about coyotes lingering very close to homes. Over the past couple of weeks, he said, the animals have been seen in packs of seven or eight.
“We’re pretty sure that people are feeding the coyotes, so they’ve kind of lost their fear of humans,” he said.
Crawford said the Idaho Department of Fish and Game had advised him to shoot the animals with rubber pellets, which, together with the noise of the gun, should scare them off.
“We want them to get a little wary of humans,” he said.
Crawford said officers planned to begin that effort Thursday evening or Friday morning. He said he expected that several shots will be required to motivate the animals to disperse away from developed areas.
“They’ve got a pretty good thing here, so they’ll be reluctant to leave,” he said.
Recent surveillance camera footage of a mountain lion with three or four cubs at The Ranch condominiums on Morning Star Road has also prompted concern.
“It is recommended that during hours of darkness small children be supervised and pets contained and not allowed to roam freely in open outdoor spaces,” the Sun Valley Elkhorn Association stated in a message to its members. “In addition, the use of a flashlight while walking yourself or your dogs can also help deter a roaming cat.”