Missouri conservation officials are reminding pet owners to be on the lookout for coyotes this summer.
The Missouri Department of Conservation reports a recent spike in calls to its Columbia regional office from citizens who have spotted roaming coyotes. The animals resemble German shepherds and prefer open spaces such as parks and golf courses rather than dense forests.
Wildlife officers encourage homeowners to remove food sources from their yards and to cover all trash cans. Bird feeders should be removed at night to keep away squirrels, which in turn can attract coyotes.