By Lynne Hayes-Freeland

SCOTT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Scott Township Police are warning residents after coyotes have been spotted in the area.

Authorities say they’re usually not a threat to people, but more so would be “a definite threat to pets.”

Police say the coyotes are going into residents’ yards – and even up to a back door in one instance, they say.

Some spotted just a few weeks ago, in the area around Lindsay Road. Stephanie McFerren saw one

“We had one in our back yard and I told my husband and there was a German Shepard in the back yard and he corrected me,” said McFerren.

Scott Township Police say that it is very difficult for the state game commission to trap or relocate coyotes, but that residents are encouraged to scare them away or hunt them where permitted.

YouTube is full of home video of coyotes in back yards, running the bushes even down the street, so a coyote spotting isn’t as rare as it sounds. What’s important to remember if you do cross paths is not to run or panic during the encounter says Tom Kline of the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

“If you do come across one you want to make yourself big. Make some loud noises,” he said. “You Should not run. I would not recommend running. These animals are always faster.”

But people like Stephanie McFerren say they are going to be very cautious.

“We’ll just be very careful with the kids and the dog,” she said.

Pennsylvania Wildlife Conservation Officer Gary Fujak joined “The KDKA Morning News” with Larry Richert and John Shumway to talk about the coyote population.

“There have been coyotes in Green Tree [which is right next to Scott Twp.] and have been for years,” Fujak said. “The population is healthy and [they’ve] been there for a long time.”

Fujak said it’s not uncommon to see coyotes this time of year.

“They’re reproducing  and they’re dispersing [those dens]  later this summer and early fall,” Fujak said.

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Lynne Hayes-Freeland