Wake County has most coyote sightings in the state

Monday, October 21, 2019
Wake County has most coyote sightings in the state
Wake County has most coyote sightings in the state

Chloe Lipp Wellman was on a walk when she saw a coyote in her Raleigh neighborhood.

"It made me nervous," Wellman said.

She snapped pictures of the coyote at White Oak Road and Webb Street in the Five Points area.

RELATED: Are you spotting more coyotes? Biologist explains why

"I look up and I saw him in the middle of the street sniffing something in the road," Wellman said.

"It startled me."

Wake County has the most coyote sightings in the state with 76 last year, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

"For the most part, coyotes aren't really interested in human beings," said Falyn Owens, Extension Wildlife Biologist. "They see us more as a threat. They know that we're way bigger than they are. They don't want to mess with us."

However, Owens said they could pose a risk for your small dogs or cats.

"Unfortunately, the small animals that we allow outside like outdoor cats and small breed dogs are seen as prey in some circumstances."

That's why Wellman posted her coyote pictures on Nextdoor.

"I know a lot of people, even in this neighborhood, let their little dogs run around," Wellman said. "I didn't know if coyotes were a danger to small animals. But that's why I posted it, just because I didn't know and I wanted folks to know because he ran into some yards."

While Wake County has the most sightings in the state, it doesn't necessarily mean there are more there. Rather, it could mean people call them in more.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission said you tend to see them more in October and November when young coyotes leave their parents' territory to find a mate and establish their own territory.

So what should you do if you see a coyote?

"Hazing, or standing your ground and scaring the animal off can be a good way to ensure these wild animals develop or maintain a healthy fear of humans," Owens said in a press release. "You can effectively intimidate a coyote by throwing small objects toward it, making loud noises, or spraying it with a water hose. Keep it up until the coyote leaves."

The Commission has these tips to keep coyotes from being attracted to your homes:

  • Secure garbage in containers with tight-fitting lids; take trash out the morning of pickup
  • Keep bird seed off the ground and bird feeding areas clean
  • Remove fallen fruit from trees
  • Feed pets indoors or remove food when a pet is finished eating outside