It may not "officially" be summer yet in El Paso but it's already getting hot around here. El Paso's heat and the dry climate can bring potentially dangerous animals closer.

Summer officially begins June 20th but, honestly, I think it's already here. Except for a few days of what east coast peeps would probably call "spring" that we had in January, I'm not sure last summer really ever ended.

That's life in the desert though and now that things are really starting to warm up, you may see more wild animals wandering around your 'hood.

Critters that are normally shy and skittish may start coming in closer looking for shade and water as temps rise and some of them could do some damage. Mountain lions have been known to cruise yards and even roofs but that's rare.

The coyote is the largest and most common apex predator in El Paso. Their numbers in our city appear to be increasing as they move into neighborhoods looking for what we all want every day to survive – food. - chihuahuandesert.org

Coyotes don't typically get super huge but they aren't exactly tiny either. They're very timid and usually run from humans but if they get hungry enough, or if they feel trapped or threatened, they'll stand their ground. Forget those roadrunner cartoons ... they're actually highly intelligent and a coyote attack can be swift and vicious.

If you do come across one, countynewscenter.com says to do this:

  • Stop and yell at it to go away.
  • Make yourself look big and scary by waving your arms above your head.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Stomp your feet and make loud noise.
  • Always maintain a safe distance.
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If you're worried about coyotes near you, call Animal Control at 311 or Texas Parks and Wildlife at 915-834-7050. FYI: unless there's been an attack or a direct threat, they probably won't do anything.

To help keep 'em away, cover your trash cans, don't leave pet food outdoors and watch your pets and small children. Especially at night, read more here.

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