CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Dozens of neighbors in South Charlotte didn't get the answers they had hoped for Wednesday night about a recent string of coyote encounters.

There's been at least three coyote attacks on dogs in or near the Cameron Wood neighborhood in the last two weeks. One coyote tested positive for rabies. All of the dogs were vaccinated, and survived the attacks.

Residents gathered at Quail Hollow Presbyterian Church Wednesday night to get advice from CMPD's Animal Care & Control officers and a North Carolina Wildlife biologist. They told neighbors that the city nor the state is in the business of capturing coyotes or trying to thin the animal's population. Also, coyotes aren't native to the Charlotte area, so they have no natural predators to prey on them.

CMPD officers will only capture or kill a coyote if it's believed to be sick with rabies. Despite the recent case, experts said rabies is rare in coyotes.

The incidents of rabies in coyotes is so low, we might not see it again in Mecklenburg County in years, said state biologist Jonathan Shaw.

City and state officials encouraged neighbors to hire professional animal trappers to handle the problem, if necessary. One woman, whose dog was attacked and left with 30 staples along his abdomen, said she now walks the neighborhood with a baseball bat or golf club.

For this coyote to come in and invade my space, I still just can't get my mind around it, said Barbara Finison.

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