The coyote is a dog-like mammal that lives in North Carolina. They are known to live in all 100 counties of our state. Although in the past they lived primarily in the mid-western part of the US, they are now known to live in all states except Hawaii. They are also found in Canada and Mexico. Coyotes are members of the family Canidae which is the family that also includes wolves and foxes. Coyotes are smaller than wolves and larger than foxes. Generally they are reddish grey in color and lighter underneath but the color can vary in different parts of the country- possibly from interbreeding with dogs. They are primarily nocturnal but can be seen at any time. What do they eat? They will eat just about anything that’s available. That includes your garbage if you leave it out, small animals, fruit that has fallen off a tree. They eat small rodents and rabbits and yes, they will eat small pets if they are available so it’s a good idea to not let your small dogs or cats run loose especially at night. They are not considered a threat to humans but because they can carry rabies you should be wary and never feed or attempt to pet a coyote. Family groups can be heard yapping at night. Coyotes are with us to stay. Since the founding of this country they have been hunted and considered a pest but that has failed to reduce their number. So, the best plan is to learn how to live with them. The two following links have some good information about how best to live with your neighbor the coyote.