A South Carolina coyote made a fatal mistake Thursday when it decided to sneak into Cane Bay Elementary School in Summerville during morning drop off.
According to the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, the coyote was discovered and trapped inside the school bathroom Thursday morning. They named the coyote “Wiley.”
Wiley was “safely apprehended” without incident and handed over to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).
Unfortunately, the morning did not end well for Wiley, who was euthanized by the staff at the Berkeley County animal shelter Thursday, SCDNR spokesperson David Lucas told FITSNews.
“One of our law enforcement officers in the region did respond to the shelter and advised them that euthanization was the proper course of action,” Lucas told FITSNews.
Coyotes in SC
According to SCDNR, coyotes are more active this time of the year because it’s breeding season in South Carolina from January through March.
Just earlier this week, South Carolina’s great white shark whisperer Chip Michalove caught a pair of coyotes on security camera trampling through his yard on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina (see video below).
According to SCDNR, coyotes are most active throughout the night, but some are spotted during the day.
Coyotes are typically around 35 pounds, but grow to over 50 pounds. They have good eyesight and are quick — with sprinting speeds up to 40 mph.
According to SCDNR, coyotes first appeared in South Carolina in 1978 and “continue to expand in great numbers.” They were first brought here for hound running in the Upstate and are now seen in all 46 counties.
In South Carolina, it is legal to shoot a coyote on your property and within 100 yards of your home without a hunting license during daylight hours. However, some cities have laws against shooting coyotes, so its best to check with local ordinances.
In 2016, SCDNR created the Coyote Harvest Incentive Program to help control the population. Coyote’s have been preying on South Carolina’s official state animal the White-tailed deer.
Lucas said it appears that the coyote population has leveled off in the last few years.
In 2018, 22,731 coyotes were shot in South Carolina according to an SCDNR hunter’s survey. The population appeared to peak around 2014 when 31,306 coyotes were shot.
Coyotes do occasionally prey on smaller dogs and cats so it’s important to keep pets inside or at least within a fence, especially at night time when coyotes are most active.
“Pet predation is usually due to the territorial nature of the coyote and lack of an alternative prey base in suburban areas,” according to SCDNR.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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