Are Coyotes Prowling Montgomery County? - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Are Coyotes Prowling Montgomery County?

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WHITEMARSH TWP., Pa. -

Some residents in Whitemarsh Township, Montgomery County, are on the lookout for coyotes, after a couple of homeowners reported spotting them over the past couple of weeks.

But are they coyotes, or red foxes?

Fran Caiazzo first spotted what she believes is a coyote this past spring.  So she immediately started taking precautions every time she stepped out onto her deck.  Caiazzo now stomps her feet as she exits her home.

Recently, her concerned doubled.

"There's two," Caiazzo told FOX 29. "I didn't know there's two until a couple weeks ago.  I had fed the birds and the squirrels out here.  I always throw my old bread out to the tree, and there were two."

Neighbor Ray Findley doesn't discount the sightings.  "That's very plausible," Findley said.  "I would think there's coyotes in the area, could be, yeah."

The Pennsylvania Game Commission officer stationed in the southern portion of Montgomery County told Fox 29 there are coyotes in the area, and there have been for years.

YouTube video shows a coyote hanging out in Chicago, so spotting them in the suburbs is not that unusual. But they are getting a bad rap.

"They're dangerous," Findley said.  "Any small children, pets, that's fair game for them."

Not necessarily, according to the Game Commission officer. He says he's never heard of a coyote attacking a human in Pennsylvania.

What's more, what Fran Caiazzo photographed may actually be a red fox.

"At first we thought it was a small dog, but then it's orange and it has the freaky tail," Caiazzo explained.

That tail is key. A red fox tail is as long as its body, which appears to be what Caiazzo photographed. A coyote tail is much shorter.

Either way, the PA Game Commission does recommend that residents keep their small pets inside overnight, since both coyotes and foxes are nocturnal.

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