Coyotes still a problem in Surfside Beach

akelley@thesunnews.comSeptember 25, 2012 

— There’s been no luck getting rid of the coyotes in Surfside Beach.

The snake chaser who’s been trying to bait and capture the wild dog-like animals that have been terrifying residents in town has nearly exhausted his options, said Town Administrator Micki Fellner at Tuesday’s Town Council meeting. Snare trapping has not been tried, the snake chaser does not support that method because the risk of catching domestic animals is too high, she explained.

The town has spent “a couple hundred dollars” so far, Fellner said. The Town Council authorized Fellner to spend up to $5,000 without further council approval at the end of August, when residents came to a Council meeting.

The snake chaser will have exhausted his options at the end of the week. If the capturing of the coyotes remains unsuccessful, Fellner said she will contact another contractor from a list of options recommended by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

The coyotes are believed to be living in wooded, vacant lots between Fourth and Fifth Avenues South. Residents in the area have seen the coyotes for about seven months now and believe there are two adults and two juveniles.

Fred Nash, who lives on Fourth Avenue South, said it’s getting worse. Nash said a coyote jumped over a fence of his neighbor’s homes over the weekend to go after the family’s dog.

“I’d like to see ‘em get gone,” Nash said.

Jay Butfilowski, furbearer and alligator program coordinator with the DNR, said coyotes typically aren’t a danger to humans.

“In the whole scheme of things, it’s extremely rare for them to attack people,” he said. “Normally, they’re shy and try to stay away from people.”

Coyotes, he said, are between 30 and 35 pounds on average, are in the canine family with domestic dogs and are most active at night.

Also Tuesday, Town Council discussed a maximum height for weeds, excluding on cleared or undeveloped lots.

The ordinance originated as a recommendation from the beautification committee and passed unanimously Tuesday night. Weeds cannot be longer than 12 inches.

Trees, shrubs, gardens and flowers are not included.

Weeds in excess of one foot could lead to fines.

Contact AMANDA KELLEY at 626-0381.

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