Residents still upset with coyote response on Sullivan's Island

By Ava

SULLIVANS ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) Co-exist with the coyotes. That's the message from Sullivans Island officials as more of the animals were seen on the island. But some people believe that is easier said than done.

That's why one woman said her only choice was to hire a trapper.

Kathy Anderegg lives on the island, and she now carries bear spray wherever she goes -- and for good reason.

"I screamed my cat's named and he jumped up into a tree and just missed being coyote fodder. At that time I didn't know what to do at first," says Anderegg.

She says she took her concerns to town hall. {}

"I got a little brochure that said how to repel the coyotes by yelling and screaming and waving your arms at the coyote, make yourself look as big as possible. Well I tried that with a coyote that tried to stalk me a few days later and that didn't work for me," says Anderegg. {}

Anderegg went a step further, she hired a private trapper who took four coyotes off her property.

"I realize that trapping is a temporary measure and that others will come to replace them, but for the moment I was worried about one of them attacking me," she said. {}{}

Nancy Fortiere has also lived on Sullivan's Island since 1944, but says the growing coyote population{} has changed the island lifestyle she's always loved.

"Our cat used to like to sit up on the porch and watch the squirrels. There are no squirrels and some of the birds have disappeared," said Fortiere. {}

She says her greatest fear is that the coyotes appetite might change.

"I would hate to walk out on my path where I have seen a lair. I know there is a lair there, and walk by that and have a mother with her babies, I don't think her reaction to me being right there would be very good. And that does frighten me," said Fortiere.

Town officials said they are aware of the problem, and are currently putting together a list of trappers for homeowners to call, but that's not enough for some.

"I just think it's insane that we're letting them run wild like this. We require that domesticated dogs be on a leash, but we're allowing wild coyotes that haven't been vaccinated to run wild on the island," said Anderegg.

State law doesn't allow coyotes to be trapped and relocated, so for now it's up to homeowners to deal with their new neighbors.{}