Nearly a dozen people who attended a meeting last night on Madison's West Side claim their pets have been attacked by coyotes in recent weeks. "It's almost impossible to assess a risk factor," said UW-Madison urban wildlife expert Scott Craven, who addressed the residents. "The threat posed by coyotes is infinitesimally small, but not zero."
Craven says the animals may have gotten increasingly aggressive recently because someone in the area may be feeding them either deliberately or unintentionally by leaving food scraps outside or a compost pile uncovered. Coyotes also use bird feeders as a food source. He says pets should be keep on leashes. "I really don't think it's possible to eliminate the possibility of any and all coyote attacks," said Craven. "It just isn't going to happen."