Coyote sightings have Upstate communities on edge

This massive coyote was spotted in Mauldin (Source: Tim Parris and James Schoolcraft)

There is a quiet Mauldin neighborhood near Bethel Drive, where you can hear the wind blowing - at least in broad daylight. However, once the sun goes down you can hear the coyotes howling and yipping in the night.

They sound far off, but the Parris family knows better. They've seen them come up to the front porch where a cat is sitting, but their other outdoor cat wasn't so lucky.

"Christmas day one of our cats came up missing,” said Timothy Parris. “We were gone for about three hours and he was gone. We haven't seen him since."

What they have seen are coyotes. Parris said he and his neighbor got a tip that there was a pack of coyotes with a small animal near their home, so they took off into the woods hoping to find their cat.

"At that point is when we saw the little female coyote running in behind the house away from the den,” Parris said. “There is a den up there and there were some carcasses in that den."

Parris said their cat was old and slow, making him an easy target for the night hunters. It was after their latest spotting that the neighborhood's concern grew.

"We got a picture and a lot of people thought it was a wolf, you could compare it to a good sized German Shepherd."

The Department of Natural Resources said coyotes are now in every county in South Carolina.

"They are an animal that is there to eat,” said Ron Winegard. “They will do whatever means necessary to get food.”

Winegard describes coyotes as smart animals with tracking patterns. One has been trapped in Pickens County and the catchers said the traps keep on filling up.

"We've had instances where the animal’s owner will bring the dog out to use the restroom and the coyote comes and grabs the dog and takes off with it while they are sitting there watching," Winegard said.

With the sightings going up, Parris is getting nervous that more than just small animals are at risk.

"My main concern is the children," said Parris.

DNR said there are some tips to follow if you want to keep coyotes out of your yard: Fence your property Do not leave pet food outside Do not leave trash in the yard Make sure trash cans are securely closed Reduce the rodent population Seal openings under porches, decks and sheds Never feed coyotesCopyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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