JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - After a pet was attacked and several witnesses reported seeing coyotes near homes, Joint Base Charleston officials are setting traps for the animals.
628th Air Base Wing officials, in coordination with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are scheduled to begin foothold trapping coyotes in the wooded area near the Base Exchange on the Air Base, JBC spokesman Marvin Krause said.
"After careful consideration, it is deemed necessary to neutralize a small number of coyotes to ensure the safety of our base personnel and resources," he said. "The intent is to deter them from inhabiting populated areas of Joint Base Charleston."
Joint Base Charleston officials say coyotes are known carriers of canine distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis, mange and rabies, all of which can be transmitted to other animals and humans.
Non-lethal measures such as eliminating food sources, live trapping and educating residents about how to keep coyotes away were not successful.
"Over the last year, we have seen an increased number of coyotes entering the family housing areas," Krause said. "These sightings prompted Joint Base Charleston officials to mitigate the threats to young children and small pets living and playing in base housing areas."
The program could continue if additional coyote sightings are reported, he said.
To report wildlife activity in residential areas, call the Joint Base Charleston Entomology office at 843-963-5266.