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Coyotes & Hiking in the Heat

Segment 2, May 27, 2023

Remember the spider lilies.  Landsford Canal State Park is the place to see the bloom. It’s only an hour south of Charlotte & full of flowers, good trails, & wildlife.

Speaking of wildlife: Mary Ramsey of the Charlotte Observer reports on the recent NC WIldlife Resource Commission statement.

“‘Coyotes are common throughout North Carolina, including in cities and suburbs,'” and while they’re not very prone to attacking people or pets, incidents can happen. But there are steps you can take to stay safe. Here’s what to know about coyote behavior and how to keep yourself and your pets safe:

Instances of coyotes attacking humans “are very rare,” the wildlife commission advises.
However, “pup season brings an added factor to interacting with coyotes” because a coyote with vulnerable pups nearby is more likely to stand its ground.
“This time of year, if you pass through a brushy or wooded area and notice a coyote watching you or following you at a distance, it could have a den nearby,” biologist Falyn Owens said in the group’s statement.
“Calmly leave the area and notify others if you are near a public trail.”

HOW TO PROTECT PETS FROM COYOTES Coyotes naturally prey on rodents and can sometimes mistake small pets, including cats and small-breed dogs, as food, the wildlife commission cautions. The group recommends keeping a close eye on pets when outside to reduce the risk of an incident. Other steps you can take to protect your pet include: Keeping pets behind a dog-proof fence that is at least 6 feet tall and prevents digging underneath Keeping pets on leashes or harnesses when outside fenced-in areas Picking up your pet if you see a coyote or suspect one is nearby when outside with your pet Feeding your pets inside and keeping food waste in secure containers Keeping bird seed off the ground, because it “can attract rodents and wildlife that prey on them”

HOW TO HAZE A COYOTE When coyotes “have adapted to urban and suburban environments,” the Humane Society of the United States explains, they are more likely to hang out around populated areas, posing risks to them and people and pets. The group recommends “hazing” — “a method that makes use of deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourage an undesirable behavior or activity” — as a technique for humanely getting rid of coyotes who’ve become accustomed to people. Hazing methods include:

“Yelling and waving your arms while approaching the coyote” Using noisemakers, such as whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of marbles or pennies, pots, lid or pie pans banged together Spraying the coyote with water from a garden hose or a vinegar water mixture Throwing sticks or other items such as tennis balls towards the coyote, but not directly at it.

Also in the news:  A person died hiking a popular trail in the Grand Canyon National Park. Helena Wegner reports on a 36-year old hiking the Bright Angel Trail on May 14th, 2023, was found unresponsive.  They had hiked 8-miles down to the Colorado River & were attempting to hike out in the same day.

Rangers also warned visitors of hiking in hot weather in the coming weeks. Parts of the trail can reach temperatures as high as 120 degrees, including in the shade, officials said. The inner canyon shouldn’t be hiked in the summer between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. because that’s when hikers report the most heat-related illnesses, park officials said.

When temperatures are extremely high, some people’s bodies can have trouble regulating temperature. In some cases, people can experience heat exhaustion and have muscle cramps, nausea, weakness and cold or clammy skin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

If heat exhaustion persists for too long, however, it can lead to heatstroke, the most serious form of heat injury.
If people choose to hike or be outdoors in dangerously hot temperatures, officials recommend the following tips:
Drink plenty of water and plan to replenish electrolytes.
Eat twice as much food as normal and have salty foods on hand.
Carry a first-aid kit. Pack essentials only.
Bring a flashlight with spare batteries to hike during the cool evening.
Spray yourself with water to cool down.
Have a Tilley hat and sunscreen as protection from the sun.
Have a whistle or signal for emergency use.

Plus, Remember Memorial Day
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