Alert issued for Montco residents after coyotes spotted

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Alert issued for Montco residents after coyotes spotted. Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on July 19, 2017. (WPVI)

Authorities in Lower Merion are warning residents after several sightings of coyotes in the township.

They've primarily been spotted around Villanova and Gladwyne, but people with small pets and children are being told to take precautions.

Coyotes have come to the Main Line - Several have been sighted recently.

And so police and the animal warden posted a warning on Facebook - telling residents to be aware.

Some read that alert but not everyone - so they were surprised to hear the predators are on the prowl in their neck of the woods.

"Yeah, it does seem crazy. I didn't think they lived in - you know suburban areas," Jill Skidds of Wynnewood said.

"In a way, it wasn't a surprise. In a way we think of this as all built up, but I see wild animals all the time. There are deer who walk across my front yard," Jeff Schad of Merion Station.

Erin McCool is the Director of Education at Riverbend Environmental Education Center in Gladwyne.

She says while it's not exactly common to see coyotes here, it's not entirely surprising either.

She said, "It's completely to be expected that we would run into coyotes. They're found all across Pennsylvania. They're actually a very common species. They're listed as "least concern."

But there is some cause for concern.

"They're what we call opportunistic predators so things like small dogs, cats, are certainly likely to be taken by a coyote if it's an easy prey. So we do tell people to keep those animals inside," McCool said.

"My wife told me I have to make sure the cat stays indoors," Schad said.

The coyotes hunt on their own and in packs and tend to be more nocturnal. Sometimes they're spotted at dusk. Experts recommend keeping your property free of any food sources that might attract little critters coyotes like to eat.

Being aware of when sightings are happening and when they're in the area are all good strategies to keep yourself and your pets safe.

If you do spot a coyote, you're asked to call Lower Merion Township Police or even 911.

Any questions can be directed to the animal warden.

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