Proof of Charlotte’s fast growing inner city coyote population showed up Monday on a home’s security cam, when “a pack” of up to four was caught on video walking through a yard.
The sighting was in the Sedgefield area of South End, about 1.5 miles south of uptown.
Donna Ragan, who works with Charlotte’s Second Harvest Food Bank, posted the video of on Facebook, noting the “pack of two to four coyotes” was filmed at 4:40 a.m. Monday outside her mother’s home in Sedgefield.
A 30-second clip shared by Ragan features as many as three of the animals wandering at the edge of the camera’s range, including one that comes up to the porch.
Ragan posted the video as a warning to homeowners to bring their pets inside at night.
She believes the coyotes are hiding during the day in the wooded areas that separate subdivisions.
“They honestly can’t help the situation that they have been put in as neighborhoods are sprouting up everywhere and they don’t have too many places to go,” Ragan told the Charlotte Observer.
Responses to the video have included other homeowners reporting their own sightings in areas like Madison Park, Ashebrook, and Highland Creek near Concord Mills mall.
“They march right down the middle of the street and out on the golf course. They are not afraid of humans at all,” posted Sharon Hildick Campbell of Concord.
Coyote encounters have become increasingly common in towns across the Carolinas, including a rabid coyote that attacked a car in Huntersville north of Charlotte in early February.
Two attacks on people were reported this year in Davie County. In March, a mom fought off a coyote attacking her daughter near their front door. And in May, a father and his 7-year-old daughter were attacked on a swing set in the family’s backyard.
Mecklenburg County officials report dogs and cats are “easy prey” for coyotes, which are losing their fear of humans.
However, experts say coyotes typically aren’t aggressive unless they feel threatened or are protecting their young.
“Encounters with coyotes should be treated the same as with any wild animal – simply keep your distance and leave them alone,” warns a statement issued by Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation.
“In the event a coyote becomes aggressive, back slowly away while yelling and waving your arms. In some cases, throwing rocks or sticks might be an effective deterrent. Do not run.”