Wendell residents say coyote sightings are increasing

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WENDELL, N.C. (WNCN) — Spotting a coyote in downtown Raleigh might not be expected, but biologists with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission say coyotes have been spotted in the city.

In fact, they are in every county in the state.RELATED:Coyotes are becoming bigger and more ‘wolflike’

Photos taken by a Wendell man this summer show a coyote right in his backyard. Other people in Wendell have been noticing more coyotes in their neighborhoods too.

Some people say they’ve even seen them in downtown Wendell.

“I have seen a few wandering around here over on Third Street,” said Wendell resident, Ashley Coleman.

Biologists with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission say coyotes typically are not aggressive, but Coleman says otherwise.

“They seem to be moving into the neighborhood,” Coleman said. “The other night I was walking my dog and I know that at least one maybe two charged at me from the back and they were snarling and I, of course, scooped up the dog and ran back in the house.”

Biologist Jessie Birckhead says coyotes are in rural, suburban, and urban areas in North Carolina, so she isn’t surprised people are seeing them right in their own backyard.

“They’re really comfortable living around people especially if there is a lot of food, whether that’s garbage or our domestic pets outside,” said Birckhead.

Coleman says she believes coyotes are moving closer to their neighborhoods because of all of the new development in Wendell.

“We moved into their area,” Coleman said. “I mean, all the development is great. It’s great for the town, it’s a great idea, but we do need to be aware that there is a price to pay for that. A little bit of that is the animals in the neighborhood.”

Birckhead says people need to cut off their food source if they want to drive coyotes out.

“Things like garbage, compost piles, even things like bird feeders can attract wildlife including coyotes,” Birckhead said.

Birckhead also says to keep cats and small dogs indoors and make sure children know coyotes are wild animals and should not be approached.

There is a North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission helpline that people can call to talk with a biologist if they have any questions about any kind of wildlife — that number is 866-318-2401.

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