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August 05, 2017

Reports: Coyote spotted trotting along Jersey Shore beach

Hold your boardwalk fries tight – there's a coyote on the loose.

Authorities are working to catch a coyote that was seen running around on the beach in Sea Isle City on Friday, CBS3 first reported.

The animal was seen trotting around the beach between 39th and 40th streets, though the Sea Isle City Police Department and the town's animal control officers haven't been able to capture it quite yet, according to the report. Traps were set out for the coyote who kept dodging into the sand dunes. 

The rescue was suspended overnight.

One beachgoer took to social media Friday, posting a video of the unusual sight while commenters argued if the animal was a fox, not a coyote, on photos posted by FOX29.

An encounter with a coyote in urban or suburban settings is rare, according to The Humane Society of the United States.  Though, the sighting in Sea Isle comes a month after Lower Merion officials confirmed "several" coyote sightings around the Main Line.

Coyotes spotted during the day are usually in the search of food, including small animals like mice, but are also known to forage through garbage cans or other through other loose food. 

"Coyote attacks on people are very rare," The Humane Society of the U.S. writes on its website. "More people are killed by errant golf balls and flying champagne corks each year than are bitten by coyotes."

Though, residents should still be cautious of the wild animal. The Humane Society of the U.S. recommends keeping small pets inside and keeping trash out of sight by throwing it in tightly sealed containers.

The Sea Isle Police did not respond to an immediate request for comment Saturday. Residents who spot the coyote or have questions should contact police at 609-263-4311.