Coyote Seen In Briargate Area Could Have Mange

Wildlife officials believe a coyote seen in the Briargate area of Colorado Springs may have mange.

An 11 News viewer spotted the coyote over the weekend and sent our newsroom a photo.

Mange is a skin disease caused by microscopic burrowing mites. In some cases it can cause the animal to itch nonstop, to the point where the animal can't sleep. That in turn causes the animal to become too exhausted to hunt, leading to severe weight loss. Based on research about coyotes living near urban areas, coyotes with extensive mange will sometimes seek food or shelter near homes.

Besides hair loss and weight loss, an animal with mange often has a hunchbacked appearance.

Mange is highly contagious, and can be transmitted to people when there is direct contact.

If a coyote is spotted in your area, wildlife officials say you should keep an eye in small children or pets when they're outside; and make sure to bring inside anything that could attract coyotes like bird feeders, pet food or trash.