ROSS TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – People packed a community meeting in Ross Township Tuesday night, concerned about coyotes.

There have been several coyote sightings in Ross Township, in the area of Ross Park Mall, over the past few weeks.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission was called in by commissioners to explain coyote behavior and how they plan to manage them.

“The reality of it is, we’re always going to have coyotes,” said Wildlife Conservation Officer Thomas Kline. “I can’t shake a magic wand and say the coyotes are gone.”

There have been no reports of anyone being attacked by coyotes in Ross Township. Some are concerned small pets could fall victim to the coyotes, while others worry about just taking a walk.

“My small child is going to be in the backyard and they are going to attack him. It’s kind of dangerous and has been brushed aside for a year, allowing their numbers to grow,” one woman said.

Another woman wanted to know what guidelines people should follow to stay safe when walking their pets.

Conservation Officer Kline said loud noises can distract coyotes. He says to not back down and don’t turn around and run away. The best advice is to keep going, because they are usually more scared of humans than we are of them.

“There’s not a threat. We need to be vigilant with small animals and pets,” said Kline. “I would absolutely say seeing a coyote is a great thing for people. We should enjoy seeing the wildlife in its natural habitat.”

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