Socastee coyote sightings: "I had no place to run"

SOCASTEE, SC (WMBF) - Coyote sightings have one local neighborhood on the lookout, with multiple reported sightings over the last week.

One neighbor walking on Folly Estate Drive says her dog pulled her over to her neighbor's lot. What she saw in the woods, has many people living nearby looking over their shoulder when out late at night.

"I looked and there was a 25-30 pound coyote, approximately two feet tall, eating scraps out of the neighbor's yard," recalled Locie Compton.

Compton said the animal didn't seem afraid of her, but it also didn't show aggression towards her.

Just doors down, Compton's neighbor shares a similar story.

"At first I thought it was a stray dog, so good thing I didn't put my hand out to get it to come towards me," said Julianna Bender.

The coyote was standing right next to Bender's front porch when she got home late from work.

"We shared eye contact and I tried to figure out if it was a stray dog or I thought it could be a wolf…turned out to be a coyote. He sniffed the air and ran away," said Bender.

Friday night, Christine Roth was startled when she spotted a coyote while walking her two small dogs down the road.

"I saw a strange animal coming up in between houses and I thought it was a baby doe. But then my dogs started barking and I noticed it got down on its feet and started to cross the street," said Roth.

In the darkness, she quickly realized it wasn't a deer.

"I didn't have anywhere to go! I ran up on this neighbor's porch whom I don't even know and pounded on their door," she recalled.

She'd never seen a coyote, but Compton has many times.

"I walked towards him, clapping my hands and he decided it was time to go away," Compton said.

That's exactly what animal control expert Russell Cavender, owner of The Snake Chaser, suggests doing if you ever find yourself in a similar situation.

The Snake Chaser said coyotes are smart animals and it is very rare for them to attack a human being.

"Make yourself as big as you can while making noise and they should take off," said Cavender.

However, he warns you to keep an eye on small dogs and cats because they are perfect prey for the hungry animals.

Folly Estate Drive isn't the only community seeing coyotes. The Snake Chaser says every season he sees a dramatic increase in calls throughout the Grand Strand.