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Family warns of wildlife encounters after losing cat to coyote

Family warns of wildlife encounters after losing cat to coyote
Posted at 10:10 PM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 23:27:33-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — When Olivia Honeycutt's cat Snickers didn't come home Friday morning, she went to her doorbell camera video to see if she could figure out what happened to her.

It took her six hours, but she got an answer — one that frightened and saddened her.

“I finally saw like movement real fast, and so I had to slow it really down," Honeycutt said. "And it was terrifying, because I thought it was a fox or something at first. And then I noticed that it was a coyote."

The coyote was chasing Snickers in Honeycutt's front yard in The Lakes subdivision of Corpus Christi.

The video also showed the end of the chase — the coyote killing the cat and trotting away with her.

“It’s just so hard," Honeycutt said. "You do everything for these animals, and they’re your whole life, and then they’re gone just like that."

While they haven't gotten a multitude of calls about wildlife in residential areas, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says the prolonged hot and dry weather could explain the cases that have been reported.

"With this drought, they might be trying to find new sources of fresh water, new sources of food, or what have you," Game Warden Cpt. Ben Baker said. "We haven’t been getting any particular reports in that area, but it’s definitely always a possibility.”

Baker said the proximity of Honeycutt's neighborhood to the undeveloped land along Oso Creek puts her family close to "an abundance of wildlife" that might pay them a visit because of the current conditions.

He has some advice for pet-owners regardless of where they live.

"We just encourage people to not let the animals roam to lessen the chances of an unfortunate situation like this happening,” Baker said.

Honeycutt doesn't know why Snickers used their doggy door to go outside the morning of the coyote attack, but she plans to make sure nothing similar happens to her other cat and five dogs.

"My son and my animals are my whole life," she said. "I do everything for them. So, just keep them inside, try to keep them inside. And I know a lot of people have doggy doors here and things like that. But it happens fast."