Local communities warning about increase in coyote sightings

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UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS - It used to be that you could go a lifetime without seeing a live coyote.

But it's now a sight that is becoming more common.

Logan Mandelik said he saw a coyote late last year.

“It looked like a dog at first and he was just wandering around in the middle. He wasn't bothered by anybody. We followed him up the trail and went into the woods a little while after,” he said.

The animals aren't new to Northeast Ohio.

Recent sightings have placed the animals in University Heights along Belvoir Blvd. between Silsby and Meadowbrook.

In fact experts say coyotes have been here for decades.

They're finding their way into more and more close quarters with humans because like all predators, they're looking for easy food.

“It's not the norm but it has happened. Sometimes coyotes will attack a cat or small dog. Sometimes it happens for food source, sometimes they feel it's a threat to their family. “ Metroparks Natural Resources Director Terry Robinson said.

Robinson says coyotes are like deer, raccoons, and Canada geese in that they've managed to find a way to share a habitat with humans.

Most times, the coyotes just want to be left alone.

“They're very protective of their dens. They're having their pups right now so they're very protective of their families. This is a time when some conflicts can happen and dog walkers can be challenged by coyotes saying 'don't come close,'" Robinson said.

There are cases where coyotes have been overly aggressive and need to be dealt with by qualified animal control experts.

However for the most part the animals generally stay away from people.

But if you are walking a dog make sure you keep it on a leash to avoid confrontations and keep small dogs out of known coyote areas.

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