July 14, 2016
The Cheltenham Police Department in Montgomery County offered some tips and reassurance to residents after a string of coyote sightings in recent weeks.
On Thursday, the department took to Facebook to explain the apparent uptick in the township's coyote population.
Coyotes are primarily nocturnal animals, but their tendency to hunt during morning hours has residents concerned over the safety of children in the area.
An increase in sightings is part of a larger trend in the Northeast U.S., where hybrid "coywolves" have been attracted by the open ranges of civilization. A combination of deforestation and rapid reproduction have led to larger numbers of coyotes and interbred canine predators who target deer, rabbits and rodents. The animals have even been spotted in several urban locales.
Cheltenham police have advised residents not to leave food for their pets out in the open for near their homes. Since the animals are native, they cannot be trapped or remove.
If a coyote is seen acting oddly or aggressively, residents are asked to call Cheltenham's Community Services officer at 215-885-1600 x478. Emergencies should be directed to 911.