HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Thousands of people are moving to Huntsville. As the city expands, there are more and more anecdotal and social media posts of wild animal sightings across the city.
Neighborhoods continue to expand into land occupied by wildlife.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, DCNR, confirmed a coyote in a south Huntsville driveway, shown in the picture and video above.
The DCNR encourages people to have professional trappers intervene when there are coyotes causing problems, but say there’s no need to kill the animals if they’re not causing problems.
“Only if there are conflicts,” said Marianne Hudson, a conservation outreach specialist. “If there are no conflicts with coyotes, and homeowners aren’t having any issues with them, then it’s completely acceptable to leave the coyotes alone if they leave you alone. However, if they are causing problems, then there are methods to remove them from an area.”
The coyote shown in Alan Montgomery’s home security footage walked across his driveway in mid February.
The retired U.S. Army combat veteran concerns about wildlife in his neighborhood.
“The last thing we want is to run into a coyote or a fox or something else where the dog actually gets away from us and gets embroiled with the coyote, because that’s never going to go down well,” he said.
Montgomery says it concerns him when neighbors leave their pets out at night because they could be attacked by wild animals.
Facebook posts about people threatening to kill coyotes concerns Montgomery.
We’re encroaching on the coyote’s territory, Montgomery said.
“The animals were here first,” he said. “We moved in on top of them. They have nowhere to go. And so they, in this particular case, recognizing that they can’t go west to Redstone, they have to go east to the mountain, to Green Mountain, and it’s just a natural migration of the animal.”
People can shoot and kill coyotes where it’s legal outside of the city, Marianne Hudson said, and people are allowed to trap them within city limits.
Hudson says people shouldn’t leave small dogs and cats out at night and discourages people from leaving trash and animal food out – as it can attract a variety of wildlife.