Apr 23, 2024
SULLIVANS ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD)- People living on Isle of Palms and Sullivan Island say they're becoming more concerned about coyotes. Several people have posted on social media about coyotes approaching them and their dogs while on the beach. Last weekend, Joe Yochem was at the vet with his dog, when a man walked in panicking. "A guy walked in from IOP, whose black lab had just been attacked by a male and female coyote, and was in the ER," Yochem said. It's not the first time he's seen something like this happen, "I know another group of folks whose dog was attacked by the beach access by coyotes." Other residents posted on social media saying it seems like coyotes on IOP and Sullivans are getting more comfortable approaching humans, especially people walking their dogs on the beach. "I know people are tempted to take their dogs to a green space or a wild area and let them run. I don't know if I'd do that on IOP right now," SCDNR Director of Public Information, Greg Lucas said. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says they may be losing their fear of people. "One of the reasons they lose their fear is because they're finding food sources, dog food, cat food," Lucas said. Coyote attacks on humans are very rare, but coyotes attacking pets is way more common. "A cat or a small dog is pretty easy prey for a K9 that is 35-40 lbs," Lucas said. SCDNR says they never want anyone to live in fear of coyotes, so it's important to know what to do if you're ever approached by one. "If you are approached, you should have your dog on a leash, a short leash. If you're approached act aggressively. Do not run, you should never run from a wild species because they sometimes look at that as they might react. You can throw rocks at them, you can raise your hands up and make yourself bigger," Lucas said. Both Sullivans Island and IOP police departments ask people to report any coyote sightings so they can know their whereabouts and move the coyote traps accordingly.
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