Warning about coyotes issued after pets attacked

Here\'s a photo of a coyote in Rock Creek Park. (Courtesy of U.S. Park Service/USPP Officer Bellis)

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – There’s a new warning across the Washington region about coyotes after attacks on pets in both Virginia and Maryland.

“We are finding coyotes in almost every single county and municipality in Virginia,” says Ed Clark, president of the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

He says the coyotes will probably run from people but will attack cats and small dogs in their search for food.

“In nature, you are sometimes the hunter and sometimes the hunted,” he says, in a warning for people to keep their cats inside.

“This species are now part of our landscape and people just need to learn to live with them,” he says.

Clark says some Eastern coyotes can weigh 40 pounds can look a bit like domestic dogs.

He says homeowners should keep trash cans covered and pets and pet food inside, especially at night when coyotes like to prowl.

Last month, a dog was attacked by a coyote at Daniels Run Park in the City of Fairfax.

A cat was attacked by a coyote in Anne Arundel County also in July.

Coyotes have been in rural areas in the D.C. region for 30 or 40 years, but over the last few years have been turning up in more urban environments.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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