Lower Paxton residents concerned about coyote sightings

Harrisburg

Coyote sightings happen from time to time, but some Lower Paxton Township residents are concerned about seeing them in greater numbers and in packs.

A local hunter took photos of multiple coyotes roaming near residential areas in recent months. 

Another hunter said he’s seen an increase over the years. 

“Especially while I’m out hunting, I’ve seen a lot more than what I had five, 10 years ago. I’ve seen several so far this year,” said the hunter, who did not want to be identified.

“Statewide, there doesn’t appear to be an increase in population, although I think it’s safe to say there’s been a significant expansion of the coyote population in areas that didn’t have it,” said Travis Lau, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

Lau says there are a few reasons why. 

“Coyotes are very adaptable to begin with, and they learn to coincide and live among people and usually unnoticed,” Lau said. 

What about leaving out trash, bird feed, or pet food?

“It has the potential to draw them closer to homes even though their primary instinct is to stay further away,” said Lau. 

Gayle Marchi lives off Union Deposit Road in Lower Paxton Township.

“It doesn’t surprise me that there are coyotes. It worries me, but it doesn’t surprise me,” Marchi said. 

It worries her because of her new pup she rescued in November. 

“Sometimes we walk at night and she’s always looking around and quick jerks, and she makes me scared that there is something around,” said Marchi. 

Game Commission officials say coyotes are typically scared of people, but for residents that want to keep their pets safe, officials say it is best to keep an eye on them. 

“There is a greater possibility if the person isn’t there. If a person is there, I think it’s pretty unlikely that a coyote would come in after a dog,” Lau said.

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