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Coyote reports on the rise in the state

The animals have been reported in all 100 counties. Officials said there have been also reports of coyotes in downtown Raleigh.

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. — Coyote reports are on the rise in North Carolina, state wildlife officials said Thursday.

The animals have been reported in all 100 counties. Officials said there even have been reports of coyotes in downtown Raleigh.

In Wake Forest, Ed Schwerin said coyotes have set their sights on an apple tree in his backyard. Schwerin took photos of the animals.

“I looked on the Internet and looked at pictures and realized, indeed, it was a coyote,” Schwerin said.

The coyotes visited his yard four times in one week, which made Schwerin afraid for his nine-pound poodle, Sammy.

“At first I was real concerned because of the dog and not really knowing how aggressive they are,” Schwerin said.

Sammy roams free and has chased after the coyotes, however.

“I’m sure they could snatch him in an instant and be gone,” Schwerin said.

Wildlife officers investigated Schwerin’s property on Thursday and found a trail leading them to a coyote den.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve got several of them in the Wake Forest area,” N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission biologist Joe Folta said.

Folta said the coyotes in Schwerin’s back yard are probably looking for fruits and berries.

Economic growth has interfered with the daily routine of these animals, wildlife officials said.

“Just a little bit of vibration in the area or a lot of noise in the area may scare a coyote,” Folta said.

Schwerin’s back yard is surrounded by woods, but his house is a few hundred yards from a shopping plaza and a daycare.

“If they see one, it’s not necessarily something to fear,” Folta said.

Coyote attacks on humans are very rare, Folta said. Officials advise keeping pets, like Sammy, away from coyotes. Food should not be left outside because it could attract the animals.