Patriots Point coyote steps out into daylight

A coyote suprised a bicyclist Frday wth an unusal daylight appearance on Harry Hallman Boulevard.

MOUNT PLEASANT — Wily coyotes continue to rove Patriots Point and other spots in this busy suburb, two years after 14 were trapped in response to attacks on dogs.

A coyote surprised a bicyclist Friday on Harry Hallman Boulevard, the latest among recurring sightings of the animals, which have apparently eluded capture and made themselves at home.

The mid-morning sighting was a little unusual. Coyotes tend to become active at twilight into the night.

The animal stepped from the woods onto the sidewalk as Mike Mitchell pedaled down from biking the Cooper River bridge. It stared him down a few seconds, then loped off down the sidewalk before slipping back into the brush.

Mitchell, a Summerville machinist, carries a camera to shoot wildlife when he bikes the bridge. He has kept an eye out for a coyote since hearing about them two years ago. But he tends to look for them in the evenings and didn’t expect this, he said.

“It was right there. He had just walked out and stepped on the sidewalk,” Mitchell said. “He looked like a dog, but you could tell it wasn’t a dog.”

Coyotes resemble German shepherds but have a fox-like mien.

Their emergence in 2010 in a vacation spot along Charleston Harbor disconcerted residents and law enforcement officials alike.

Mount Pleasant police continue to hear of sporadic sightings there and elsewhere in town, said Maj. Stan Gragg. But police have had no recent complaints, he said. The animals appear to be keeping a distance from people.

“I’ve seen them a couple of times. They’re real skittish,” he said.

Coyote have moved into every county in the state, S.C. Natural Resources wildlife officers say. Trapping and hunting now take nearly 30,000 per year.

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