By Ryan Warren for The Island Eye News
Coyote sightings on the island have gone down from last year. In 2020, we had around 250 sightings. This year in 2021, we have had a total of 137 sightings to date. Even though it is becoming colder, coyotes do not hibernate like other mammals so they will still be as active as they are in the summer. We still encourage the public to report coyote sightings and encounters directly to the Isle of Palms Police Department dispatch at (843) 866-6522 so we can record the data. As of now, we know of only one den around 24th Avenue in the dunes. From this location, a private animal control company has trapped a total of four coyotes in the beginning of this summer. Two adults and two pups were caught and removed from the island. We are still working with the city council to implement traps in the backyards of nearby residents of that den with their permission to reduce the number of the coyotes on the island. Coyotes are often seen roaming the beaches and dunes but can also wander inland to scavenge for food. We have had one reported non-fatal coyote attack on a dog. Residents should keep their dogs out of the dunes not only because it is protected land but also the dangers that live in there such as poisonous snakes and coyotes. For the safety of our residents, we recommend reading over the IOP Coyote Management page on iop.net where all safety information will be stated when coming in contact with a coyote. Discharging of a firearm at a coyote or at all on Isle of Palms is illegal. One method of deterring coyotes is using pepper spray or clappers. Clappers are available at the Isle of Palms Police Department headquarters if needed.
Ryan Warren is the Isle of Palms Police Department’s Animal Control Officer. Warren may be contacted at 843-886- 6522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.