By Ralph Iannotti

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Coyote sightings in several local neighborhoods are leaving some North Hills residents on edge.

The latest close encounter happened over the weekend in McCandless Township.

Edward Turk and his wife, Dr. Melanie Turk, saw the animal Saturday. Dr. Turk was the first to see the coyote, saying “I thought it was a German Shepard, but it was about six o’clock in the morning, I was surprised, to put of mildly.”

Turk took video of a coyote in his backyards in the Bennington Woods Drive area Saturday morning.

“Actually it was quite surprising, it’s great to see wildlife, but it’s not something you expect to see in your backyard,” Turk said.

The Turks live in a quiet residential development near a wooded area, which isn’t far from Ross Park Mall.

“This week we heard howling, which we thought sounded like a pack of wolves, but we didn’t think anything of it,” Turk said.

It was just a couple months ago that there was a spike in coyote sightings in the South Hills.

One resident even took photos of them in Scott Township.

Tom Kline, of the Pa. Game Commission, said without a doubt “this year, we’re seeing more coyotes (in Southwestern Pa.) than we have in the past.”

Experts say if you have a close coyote encounter don’t run, because they’ll likely outrun you.

They also say not to turn your back on them.

Wave your arms and make noise to scare them off.

Experts also warn you not to leave your small pets outside to roam free at night.

Also, keep your property clean, and keep any garbage in tightly sealed containers.

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Ralph Iannotti