Coyote sightings on the rise

July 10, 2009 2:47:59 PM PDT
Jose Salazar's dog Lucia barks at just about anything. In light of recent coyote sightings along Chapel Hill's Carolina North forest trail, a leash is Lucia's new best friend."She's with me at all times, but some people, they run with their dogs without the leash, so it's not safe for them," Salazar explained.

Thursday, a dog-like animal with reddish thick fur, long snout, and pointed ears was spotted in the area. The animal didn't make a move, but officials say some park-goers did feel threatened, so now they're spreading the word. Cautions signs are posted throughout the 800 acre trail system.

But not everyone's concerned.

"If I ran by a coyote on the trail, I wouldn't even think twice about it," offered runner David Dunson.

Thursdays sighting was one of many in the Triangle recently. Sunday, there were reports that a rabid coyote was acting aggressively near a woman's home.

The North Carolina Wildlife Commission says coyotes are now found in all 100 counties across the state. It points out that simply seeing a coyote is not cause for worry.

But if you see them often around your home, take these steps:

· Secure garbage - coyotes do scavenge for trash

· Never feed or pet coyotes

· Keep your own pets inside -

· Cut back brushy edges in your yard, which provide cover for wild animals


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