ALLEGHENY CO., Pa. — Coyotes in local neighborhoods have neighbors on high alert.
Dog lover Susan Castriota is spreading the word to those in Upper Saint Clair and beyond after she and others have had some pretty close encounters with coyotes.
“At first I thought it was a deer. This thing was huge, and then it came out and I was like … that is a coyote," said Castriota.
Several neighbors snapped multiple pictures from their homes showcasing the coyotes they’ve seen. More and more people are coming forward with their own coyote sightings all over our area.
Below is a map of where coyotes have been spotted so far in our area:
"It’s common to see coyotes this time of year because it is their mating season,” said state game warden Zebulun Campbell. “Mating season is for most of February, that’s when they’ll be out there searching for mates.”
Campbell said coyotes are typically a shy animal who doesn't typically attack, but pets are somewhat vulnerable if owners aren't informed.
Officials said if you see a coyote to not turn your back on it or run away. If the coyote gets close, make loud noises and make yourself look big.
You can also throw rocks or use a garden hose to scare it away.
And make sure to keep yourself between the coyote and children and or pets.
The game warden said in the unlikely instance the coyote attacks – depending on where you live and that township’s rules – you may be allowed to use a weapon to defend yourself.
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