Coyotes causing concerns in Birmingham neighborhoods

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Coyote sightings in several Birmingham neighborhoods have some residents concerned.

People in Vestavia Hills, Hueytown and Mountain Brook have posted about it on social media. But David Frings, Director of the Interpretive Center at Oak Mountain Park, says he’s not surprised to hear about the issue. Frigs deals with wildlife all the time, and it’s not uncommon for him to encounter a coyote.

“They always put on the brakes and immediately run the other way,” he said. “I’ve never had one stand his ground.”

Frings says coyotes are not dangerous to humans and likely are attracted to pet food left outside whenever they show up in someone’s yard.

“They’re very opportunistic animals,” he said. “They will eat almost anything, and they would love some Alpo or something like that left out on the back porch.”

Coyotes are carnivores, and some people said on social media that the coyotes attacked their cats. But Frings says that’s not common.

“They will pretty much eat anything that they can over power – pets would be no exception,” he said. “But it’s not something they’re going to go after as their first choice.”

But if you’re concerned about it, he says it’s a good idea to bring small pets inside at night. But in most cases, they’re not a threat.

“They don’t want to encounter us, as humans,” he said. “They want to be left alone, really. They just want to live their lives and find a bite to eat.”

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