Sullivan's Island man catches coyote pack on house camera

By Bill

SULLIVAN'S ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- A Sullivan's Island man is watching coyotes continually visit his back yard near the beach. While the sightings are nothing new, the video evidence shows the animals are becoming bolder and visiting more often.

"Whenever I see these coyotes they end up going down here," said Stanford Kirshtein.{} "Here's where the coyotes are coming out of where it's just woods and they'll go back down there and go back up the path there towards the beach."

He's been on the path of these predators for months.

In his back yard, he's been following the coyotes on a self-installed camera he mounted on a gate.

"Over the last two weeks since the first cold spell I've noticed a lot of coyotes. Almost every night I get a video now," Kirshtein said.

In a video recorded Saturday night, the animals can be seen wandering near his fence. After they walked away, a curious house can came by to see what had been there.

Experts with the Department of Natural Resources say coyotes are common in every county across the state, adding that they prefer to keep to themselves.

"Coyotes are just as afraid of people as you are of them. They don't want anything to do with humans. They'd rather be left alone," said Sam Chappelear, the wildlife regional coordinator for DNR. "Independently leaving pet food out for cats or dogs overnight, coyotes are pretty opportunistic. They'll figure that out and will visit that site for free food."

Kirshtein says he's trying to protect his beloved dog Zoe from the creatures lurking in the night. He's hoping the new fence and a new awareness of nature will keep her safe.

"As long as they stay away, then I'm fine. But I like looking at them. And if anything threatened her, then all bets are off," he said.

Several days ago, Sullivan's Island town officials alerted neighbors to the coyote concerns. An email was sent as a reminder for pet owners to keep their small animals indoors overnight.{}