Wily coyotes, man's best friend's deliquent cousins

CHARLOTTE, N.C. _ One coyote lounged on a Myers Park front porch. Another was spotted walking near rush-hour traffic in broad daylight.

Urban coyotes don't seem particularly afraid of people. But some Charlotte residents fear for their small children and pets.

They're also discovering that county animal control doesn't respond to coyote calls, referring residents to state officials and private contractors who trap wildlife for a fee.

Coyotes are thriving in Charlotte as development steals habitat and new urban greenways teeming with deer and small prey provide a side door into neighborhoods. As a result, coyotes are eating small pets and terrifying residents who stumble upon them.

"They're very adaptive," said Jon Shaw, a state biologist responsible for Mecklenburg and nine other western counties. "They just learn to live in the presence of people."

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