CHARLOTTE, N.C. - If you've seen more coyotes in your neighborhood, you're not alone. There has been an increase in sightings all over our area.
One woman who lives in the Cotswold neighborhood says her cat went out to play and never came back home.
“I was angry and I’m going through my five angers of grief basically,” Katie Rosenthal said. “About three days ago, my dear cat, Harley, five years old. He has a little routine, I let him out. He went out. He had his little area which is my yard…and he didn't come home like he usually does.
Katie says her cat was killed by a coyote. She says his body was mutilated. Now she wants to learn more about coyotes.
“The fact of the matter is there are many species in North Carolina that do just fine in suburbs and places where people live. For the most part it boils down to understanding. If it's an animal that lives out in the woods, it probably lives in your neighborhood,” said wildlife expert Falyn Owens.
Owens works for the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. She says if you see deer or coyotes, you should scream as they are scared of humans. She also suggests one other thing.
“Removing any types of foods that can attract wildlife into your yard if you don't want them there and enjoy sightings when you see them.”
Officials are also reminding neighbors that while it is not illegal to hunt deer or coyote in North Carolina, you need to check your city guidelines for specifics. For example, in Charlotte, it is illegal to discharge a firearm within city limits.
If you have questions, you can reach out to the Wildlife Hotline at 866-318-2401. They’re available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.