The staff at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve in Cary got a big surprise today when they saw who made a surprise appearance in footage from the preserve's wildlife cam: A coyote with her five pups running behind her.
"My heart grew today," said Meredith Owens, park facility attendant at the preserve off Kildaire Farm Road. "It's very sweet."
The quick video was captured at 2:25 a.m., May 26, which is about mid-day for coyotes, who are nocturnal. The motion activated camera sits along the preserve's Chestnut Oak Loop Trail, not far from the Beech Tree Cove Overlook.
From time to time, Hemlock Bluffs staff takes down the camera to check on the footage. The camera often picks up wildlife, including deer, raccoon, mice and squirrel.
"We've gotten a glimpse of coyote, but not a full family photo," Owens said. "It's always a surprise. This time, it's a great surprise."
The video shows the coyote mom with the five pups trailing after her. The last pup stops and looks around for a second before catching up with mom and siblings.
Hemlock Bluffs is at 2616 Kildaire Farm Rd., Cary. It features one of our favorite family hikes in the region, along with a great visitors center with lots of educational exhibits and programs.