Yesterday (May 14, 2011) I received an email from a neighbor in Braemar. She had seen what looked like a coyote at the traffic circle at Native Rocks and Tartan Hills Parkway. She only got a glimpse and thought it was a stray dog.
Then, she looked out her front window the following morning and saw the same animal. (She lives near the Native Rocks traffic circle.) This time, she said she was certain it was a coyote. Grayish in color and looking similar to a German Sheppard, but more wild.
Since we have fox in the neighborhood she did a quick internet search to make sure she wasn’t confusing the animal with a fox. Indeed, the pictures of fox compared to those of coyote solidified her sighting.
Upon receiving her email, I called the Prince William County Animal Warden to see if they would pick up the animal. The Animal Warden will not pick up a wild animal unless it is injured or suspected to be rabid. So in this case, the Animal Warden advised that anyone that notices this animal, as with any other wildlife, to stay away. Do not approach the animal. Keep your distance.
Coyotes can be dangerous to small animals such as cats and smaller dogs. For the foreseeable future, it’s better to be safe than sorry with your pets. Keep an eye on them when you let them outside. And be aware of your surroundings when walking them.