SE Boise residents getting frequent visits from coyotes

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- Longtime residents in one Southeast Boise neighborhood are seeing more wildlife than ever before -- especially coyotes -- smack in their back yard.

And home security cameras capture the critters on the prowl day and night.

"We've lived here 14 years," said Scott Butterfield. "And it's just been in the last six months they've been aggressive. We're hearing them every night, seeing them in our backyard."

What he most concerned about?

"A couple of neighbors already lost their cats," Butterfield said. "They (the coyotes) almost got our little dog Riley for dinner."

Now he keeps a pellet gun handy.

Bethann Andersen has lived here for 12 years and used to see coyotes maybe once or twice a year.

"But this year they're here almost every night. Coyotes," she said. "Howling at night. They sound like a crying baby which is always scary."

Many times the coyotes come to Andersen's backyard and play with her dog Chili. But she's concerned they may one day attack the dog, a Doberman Pinscher.

But the Idaho Department of Fish and Game says there's no indication wildlife is moving into Boise neighborhoods in great numbers. In fact, it's probably the other way around.

"It's possible that the city is moving out into places where animals have lived long before we were ever here," said Fish and Game spokesman Steve Liebenthal.

And the Boise River is a natural wildlife corridor.

But Liebenthal says Fish and Game officers would definitely take action if there was a predator threat to the public.

Meantime the neighbors in Southeast Boise keep a cautious eye on their pets.