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Wily coyote makes run through Myrtle Beach International Airport

Coyote Invades Myrtle Beach Airport

A wily coyote ventured into Myrtle Beach International dashing through the terminal and sneaking past security before being captured by Horry County Animal Control.
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A wily coyote ventured into Myrtle Beach International dashing through the terminal and sneaking past security before being captured by Horry County Animal Control.

A wily coyote ventured into the Myrtle Beach International Airport Tuesday morning, dashing through the terminal and sneaking past security before it was corralled and captured by Horry County Animal Control.

The coyote has since been put down.

Coyotes are considered to be a nuisance in the area and policy calls for the wild animals, once captured, to be euthanized, according to Capt. Robert McCullough of the Department of Natural Resources.

No one was hurt, and officials said the animal was caught quickly so no flights were impacted.

Horry County police were called about the wild animal in the airport shortly after 10 a.m. Airport spokesman Kirk Lovell said the animal appeared to have gained access to the airport through the baggage area.

The coyote was cornered in a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, which Lovell said was temporarily closed for safety reasons. No injuries were reported during the incident.

I’ve never heard of a coyote getting in any airport.

Kirk Lovell, Myrtle Beach International Airport spokesman

Lovell said that no flights were delayed by the morning’s excitement, but airport officials were getting nervous as animal control officials worked to capture the animal with the next flight scheduled to leave in 30 minutes.

“It happened at a good time, if you could say a good time,” Lovell said. “Animal Control did a fantastic job because there was a flight scheduled to depart in about half-an-hour… We were starting to get concerned… but fortunately they got control of the animal and they took it out and the checkpoint opened so all of those people got on their flight.”

The American Airlines flight to Philadelphia left without delay.

Even though the area has a large population of coyotes, one getting into the airport was a first.

“I’ve never heard of a coyote getting in any airport,” Lovell said.

Chuck and Barbara Duncan of Pawley’s Island were inside the airport to catch a flight to Denver, Colo., when they spotted the animal.

“We were actually in the line,” Chuck Duncan said, when he saw what appeared to be a large dog run through the terminal. “I thought it was a German shepherd and maybe it got away from its handler.”

You don’t expect for a coyote to come in. We have them in our neighborhood, but we don’t expect them in the airport.

Chuck Duncan, airport passenger

But it was actually a wild coyote.

“You don’t expect for a coyote to come in,” he said. “We have them in our neighborhood, but we don’t expect them in the airport.”

The Duncans’ flight to Denver was canceled, but Barbara Duncan said it wasn’t because of the coyote – just technical issues with the plane.

“It was an exciting morning,” Chuck Duncan said as they waited for their next flight with no coyotes in sight.

Reach Weaver at 843-444-1722 or follow her on Twitter @TSNEmily.

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