BOISE — Idaho Fish and Game is aware of reports of a coyote acting aggressively towards dogs in the Boise Foothills over the weekend, and is monitoring the situation closely.
Fish and Game conservation officers received a report on Monday that a teenage girl was hiking with a small dog in the Hulls Gulch area where the dog was unfortunately attacked and carried away by a coyote. Officials are aware of another potential attack on a dog that was not reported to Fish and Game directly.
For now, Fish and Game officials are encouraging people to walk their dogs in another area. If they continue to recreate in the Hulls Gulch area, officials recommend keeping dogs under close control to reduce the chances of an attack by a coyote.
“It’s always good to keep dogs close and under control to minimize the risk,” said Southwest Regional Supervisor Jon Rachael. “Being in close proximity to a leashed dog is a much greater deterrent to a coyote, but being on leash doesn’t absolutely guarantee a territorial coyote won’t cause problems with a dog.”
While coyote attacks on domestic dogs in the Boise area are not an everyday occurrence, coyotes have attacked and killed domestic dogs before — even within the city limits. It is not uncommon for coyotes to be territorial with domestic dogs, particularly around den sites when raising pups in the spring and early summer.
“It is horrible that the girl’s dog was killed – I really feel for her and her family. Unfortunately, it is not a rare occurrence that coyotes get territorial with dogs this time of year—and the incidents are not limited to just the lower Hulls Gulch area,” Rachael said. “It can happen anywhere in the foothills, and in the past we have even had a coyote attack a dog in a city park.”
It’s possible there is a pair of coyotes with a litter in a den site near where these incidents occurred over the weekend, but that has not yet been confirmed. What is clear is that there is at least one coyote in the Hulls Gulch area that is being aggressively territorial with dogs, and that it is advisable to steer clear of the immediate area for a while.
“We don’t want this to develop into a situation where coyotes continue to pose a threat to dogs, or potentially people. We will continue to watch closely for any further conflicts,” Rachael said.