CHARLOTTE, NC -- One west Charlotte farmer says he's spotted a rare coyote-dog hybrid on his property over the past few months.
He says he's seen two of the coydogs on his farm. He emailed NewsChannel 36 about his concern and also shared video of a third coydog he trapped on a friend's farm near Chester.
Most people won't recognize the difference. He'll have a fluffy tail, long nose, and marked up like a dog, said Rusty Furr.
NewsChannel 36 investigated the hybrid, and found that coydogs do indeed exist.
Wildlife officers in the Charlotte area say they have received no official reports, but said other areas of the U.S. have seen the hybrid, so it wouldn't be too surprising if they existed in the Carolinas.
Furr says the coydogs he encountered have been violent. He shot the two he trapped. He hasn't been able to capture the third hybrid he spotted.
He was vicious. He was not trying to get away. He was trying to get to us, Furr added.
According to some reports, coydogs can be more dangerous than coyotes because they aren't afraid of people, but still have a predator instinct.
He's dangerous. He's a got a kill instinct. He's a killer, said Furr.
Furr says in each case he was trying to catch coyotes. He's been trapping them on his farm and his friends' farms because he says their increasing numbers have dwindled the number of deer, wild turkey, and quail game he hunts.
At first glance, Furr said he wasn't sure what the animal was. He says it was a biologist with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources that verified the animal's genetic makeup.
The two on his west Charlotte farm have not been verified.