TEGA CAY - Leaders of Tega Cay in York County have approved plans to tackle an ongoing coyote problem that is blamed for animal attacks and missing pets.
Coyote population problems aren’t unique to Tega Cay, but there have been dozens of complaints there in 2016.
“We’re seeing coyotes in the daytime come through our yards,” said Steve Forrest.
Forrest said a coyote attacked his 13-year-old greyhound earlier this year. The dog had more than 30 bites, Forrest said.
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Several weeks ago, one of Forrests’ cats went missing from outside.
“He was only 6 months old, he was still a kitten basically and he’s gone,” Forrest said.
There are a lot of trees in the city that sits on Lake Wylie. The recreational community also features a golf course where the coyotes have been spotted.
Neighbors enjoy nature but didn’t expect to have so many close encounters with coyotes.
“Right here in the middle of houses and right here on this road, I actually hit a coyote Saturday night,” said David O’Neal, a Tega Cay Councilman.
Monday, O’Neal and other members approved a coyote management plan. It involves a mix of public education and allows the city manager to hire professionals to trap coyotes. The plan also says “lethal” measures may be used if a person is attacked or the incidents become an imminent threat to public safety.
They’re not welcome here anymore. We’ve tried to coexist with them over the years, it’s obvious now that there’s just too many of them and it’s time to get rid of some of them,” O’Neal said.
City leaders are asking neighbors to do their part to make the animals feel unwelcome. Residents are encouraged to use items like spotlights, sprinklers, or noises to scare the animals off. Leaving trash or food outside also attracts coyotes. Leaving food out for animals that coyotes prey on can also be trouble.
Officials will track and monitor reports of coyote sightings or issues.
Forrest says there’s a den of coyotes nearby and he’s concerned because so many neighbors have pets. He says the city has identified two areas where the coyotes have been spotted most.
“Our position is if they just attack those two locations and cut that population down, it might help everything else,” Forrest said.
After the new year, council members say they’ll hear more about plans to hire trappers to remove the unwelcome animals.
“Tega Cay is a great place to live, not necessarily for the coyotes,” said O’Neal.
To view the city’s coyote management plan, CLICK HERE.