Residents spot coyotes in Grayson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

GRAYSON -- Grayson officials are warning residents to be on the lookout for "several fairly large coyotes" that have been seen around the city.

According to a statement on the city's website, the coyotes were seen recently around the Grayson Parkway/Wilshire Drive area, but officials have also "been told of other sightings in the past."

Gwinnett County Animal Control's Lt. Mary Lou Respess said the animals' presence isn't anything out of the ordinary, and shouldn't alarm residents.

"We always see them this time of year in the springtime, they're making babies and bringing those babies out into the world," she said. "You're going to see them until things settle down as far as biology."

Gwinnett's animal control unit is not legally allowed to deal with coyotes -- or any wild animal, for that matter -- in anything short of an emergency situation. Trapping wild animals requires a special license, Respess said.

Anyone who merely sees a coyote and wants the problem addressed is encouraged to call the Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division at 770-918-6416.

DNR biologist Don McGowan spoke with the Gwinnett Daily Post when Lawrenceville residents reported coyote sightings there last June. He said there have never been any documented cases of coyotes attacking people in Georgia.

"Really it's not abnormal to see them in developed areas, neighborhoods, cities, towns," McGowan said. " We don't consider that as anything that needs immediate attention."

Simple tips for avoiding confrontation with the animals include making sure pet food and garbage are properly stowed away and supervising small dogs and cats when they are let outside, Respess said.

For more information and pointers, visit www.georgiawildlife.com.