Wild Animals

Top 10 Animals that Scare Us the Most

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They're coming closer...Or, are we?
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Coyotes have long been considered public enemy no. 1 to livestock and small pets. Cousin to the gray wolf, these medium-sized, jackal-like creatures are agile animals, capable of running at speeds up to 43 miles (69 kilometers) per hour and jumping up to 13 feet (4 meters). According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), coyotes have been living near people for decades due to new communities encroaching on their habitats. Despite the close living quarters, they are mostly private animals that prefer to remain undetected -- unless there is food nearby.

Though coyotes historically have stolen livestock under a cloak of darkness, their urban descendents seem to be more brazen as they assimilate to life with humans. More than 300 coyotes have been collared for tracking purposes in Chicago, and occasional reports of a coyote attack, like the one on singer Jessica Simpson's maltipoo in 2009, remind us that these animals aren't to be trifled with. HSUS says the best way to keep coyotes out of your space is to remove any possible food and water sources. If you live in an area with a known coyote population, keep your small pet on a leash at all times. Don't ever feed coyotes, and if you see one, HSUS recommends causing a loud commotion to scare the coyote away.

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