Multiple coyote sightings reported around Rice University campus

Rice University issued an alert about recent reports of coyote sightings around campus.

According to a notice sent to faculty, staff and students, the Rice University Police Department has received multiple reports of coyote sightings over the last few weeks.

Some of the locations where coyote sightings were reported include near the Kraft building, North Annex Lot, North College area, and Sewall Hall.

Officials say, in most cases, coyotes pose very little threat to people. They say there have been reports of any attacks or aggression by a coyote on campus.

The university shared these tips for anyone who may encounter a coyote:

•   Do not run away or turn your back to a coyote. It could trigger the coyote’s instinct to give chase.

•   Be especially aware when walking your dog or jogging around sunrise and sunset. That’s the time of the day when coyotes are most active.

•   Keep dogs on short leashes while walking outside; wildlife authorities recommend a leash no longer than 6 feet. This tip is especially important between February and July because that is pupping season, a time of year when coyotes are more territorial. That doesn’t change how coyotes act towards humans, but at this time of year a coyote is least likely to run from a loose dog and more likely to stand its ground.

•   Never feed coyotes. Feeding coyotes endangers residents in your community because it lures mores coyotes into the neighborhood.

•   Yell, clap your hands, blow a whistle and try to make yourself look larger if you have a close encounter with a coyote.

•   Do not allow a coyote to get in between you or your pet or child. Keep children close to you.

•   Whenever it is safe to do so, alert RUPD by calling 713-348-6000, or ext. 6000 from a campus phone if you see a coyote.

RUPD is notifying animal control authorities with the city and county to find out if there have been any other reports regarding coyotes in the area.