ARLINGTON Va. – Coyotes have been spotted across the capital region before, but it has never been confirmed that the shy canines prowl through heavily populated Arlington County.
The proof came from the county itself, which now has video of one of the creatures in the woods at the Potomac Overlook Regional Park in the northern end of the county.
The camera was set up specifically to monitor wildlife.
“We’ve suspected they’ve been in the county for so long, and it took us forever to get physical proof,” Arlington Natural Resources Manager Alonso Abugattas said.
“That’s how tough it is to get a good look at them,” Abugattas said.
Coyotes don’t like people and will probably run the other way if they see someone, according to Abugattas.
“They’re probably using the Potomac River and those tributaries as the route to travel. That’s the wildest places that we have,” he says.
Coyotes might be attracted to Arlington because they are skillful scavengers. The feed mostly on small animals such as rabbits and raccoons, but they might go after tomato plants or cats as they prowl at night, Abugattas said.
Members of the public have sent in pictures of what they thought were coyotes in the past, but they turned out to be either stray dogs or foxes.
“Coyotes will make a living wherever they can find food, even in big cities,” Abugattas said. “I think they are here to stay.”