More coyotes being spotted, even near a school in Tuscumbia

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. – Early last week WHNT News 19 first reported on numerous sightings of coyotes across several Shoals cities. Since then, there have been more sightings, even next to a Tuscumbia school playground.

City schools are generally located in heavily populated areas. G.W. Trenholm Primary School in Tuscumbia is no different. As school wound down for the year kids playing outside reported some unusual sightings.

“Everything I have seen locally has just been one random here and there. I have not seen two or three together at any point,” stated Colbert County Animal Control Officer Anthony Wilbanks.

Anthony Wilbanks

Coyotes, they first started being reported weeks ago, and sightings have increased dramatically. Wilbanks said the season presents a perfect time for coyotes.

“I think it’s summertime, the fact they are building, and people leaving cat food and dog food out. There are small animals running around, so that plays a big part in it.”

New construction for residential areas has eliminated habitats once occupied by coyotes.

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Wilbanks said professional trappers have been used to remove some coyotes in Sheffield already.

“We don’t do the coyotes,” said Wilbanks. “We have no way to trap them and we don’t have any way to transport them. We have no way to remove them.”

And Wilbanks said if you encounter a coyote by itself, it will likely be just as scared of you, as you are of it. But if it is a pack get to safety immediately.

Residents who need help removing a coyote from a neighborhood environment can contact Colbert County Animal Control. They have contact numbers for professional trappers who are licensed to remove wildlife such as coyotes.