Lower Merion police warn of coyote sightings

Lower Merion police are warning of coyote sightings around the township.

"Our next door neighbor right here told us that there was a coyote in the neighborhood," said Tim Whitaker. It was surprising information that caused him to think immediately about his precious little dog Ellie Mae.

"She's one of the prettiest dogs in the neighborhood and I know if I were a coyote I would want to check her out," he joked.

Tim is taking the news with a little bit of humor but he and his wife Mary Lee know coyotes in their area can be dangerous.

"We're gated but we know a coyote could potentially get in there so we're actually concerned about that," he said.

Lower Merion Police posted a warning on the department's Facebook page about the recent coyote sightings. They've had several reports from around the township. The most recent was in the Villanova area.

Sightings in the township this year go back to February when one was reported in Wynnewood.

"We see tons of foxes. We have lots of deer," said Ina and Chip Altman. They were out walking their rescues Brady and Jack.

"It's scary. I would be really scared if I saw something like that in my neighborhood," said Ina. Her husband Chip added, "It's a little scary but I'm an animal lover so I want to give a chance to any animal but I will look out for my little ones. I don't want them hurt in any way," he said.

Police say small animals are just one draw to coyotes looking for food in suburban, urban and rural areas. They will use birds, fruit, garbage, pet food, birdseed and compost to get by. Police say keep that stuff out of your yard and pets inside when you can.

"I think it's definitely a heads up not to let your dog or cat just run out because this is different," said Ina.

If you see a coyote in the area call Lower Merion Police Department at 610-649-1000. If you have questions about them or coyote sightings call the animal warden at 610-645-6215.