Isle of Palms police cautioning pet owners due to increased coyote sightings

Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 9:36 PM EDT
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ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCSC) - The Isle of Palms Police Department is asking people to use caution when walking small pets due to increased coyote sightings around the city.

During Thursday’s public safety committee meeting, police chief Kevin Cornett said one or two coyotes were spotted in April of 2019 but twelve were reported this April.

Since 2018, the city has followed a coyote management plan that focuses on education and provides guidelines on how to deal with the coyote population.

For the last year, the city has not trapped any coyotes on public property. Instead, the city has resources on their website for people who want coyote traps.

If the sightings are on private property, Cornett said people should call a company authorized by the state department of natural resources to trap the coyotes.

In a facebook post, police said late April is the time of year when coyotes feed and protect their young in dens and surrounding areas.

If someone encounters a coyote, the police department says you should take the following steps:

  • 1. Maintain eye contact while slowly backing away. Never turn your back on the coyote.
  • 2. Make yourself look as large by raising your arms or other items above your head.
  • 3. Shout, yell, and clap your hands to frighten the coyote.
  • 4. Throw sticks or rocks to scare away a coyote.
  • 5. Do not look afraid or scared because they will see you as being submissive.
  • 6. Shine a flashlight in their eyes if it is at night.
  • 7. If you are with a small child, place them behind you as you back away and do not allow them to run away from you.
  • 8. Continue to be aware of your surrounding because it is likely a second coyote could be nearby.

Coyote sightings can be reported to IOPPD’s emergency number (843) 886-6522.

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