CONCORD, N.C. -- Many residents in the Yates Meadows neighborhood of Concord are on extra alert when heading out their door.
In the last several weeks, many have called to complain about the number of coyote sightings in their neighborhood.
“I was out walking my dog and the coyotes walked right across the street and two houses in front of us,” said resident Cary Grams.
He is among homeowners convinced the coyotes are moving in packs and more active than usual.
Sheri Freeman says her 10-year-old dog thought he had a playmate outside her fenced backyard.
“He was wagging his tail like crazy. The coyote was crouched down like it was getting ready to jump.”
Two nights later, she saw two more coyotes sitting at her neighbor’s swing set.
When Freeman looks out to the tree line from her back yard, she often spots several sets of eyes beaming in her direction in the dark.
“That was scary,” she said.
The howling can be heard, even over her son’s loud video game playing in the living room.
“These are very scary howls that sounded like something from a horror movie” she said.
There has been no reports of coyotes attacking people, according to Sgt. Barry Rowell from the NC Wildlife Law Enforcement division.
“They are pretty nocturnal. But in areas where it is populated, they get use to be around people and show themselves more than normal,” he said.
The coyotes stay in areas where the food is at.
"It's not an issue we have with them attacking people, or anything like that. But that is not to say wild animals can be unpredictable from time to time and can do things out of the ordinary,” he said.
For the most part, he says coyotes are scared of people just as people may be afraid of them.
Some residents are urging the city to look in other factors keeping coyotes in the area.
“Somebody said the coyotes are using a pipe over there as a den. I would love it if the city can put a mesh cover up. Maybe that would help,” said Freeman.
Freeman says there is a cattle farm and a landfill nearby. She believes the coyotes are moving along the Rocky River nearby.
The neighborhood association has since reached out to wildlife officials, alerting residents about the coyote sightings.
"We got to live with them, they are here to stay,” said Sgt. Rowell. He urges residents to eliminate unsecured food sources that may attract coyotes.
He advises homeowners to follow these suggestions.
Information on the NC Wildlife Coyote Page.
Freeman says she’s doing what she can to get the word out, but that still doesn’t take the fear away.
“We also bought a stronger light so we can watch when they do come out here. I bought three extra lights,” she said. “Because I don’t want this one (the family dog) getting hurt. He is family.”