Arlington, VA

After years of reports of coyote sightings in various parts of north Arlington, county naturalists finally have visual proof of their existence.

From a county press release:

Just last week, a game camera at Potomac Overlook Regional Park, in Arlington, took the first video of an Arlington coyote. “We’ve had reports of them for years now, mostly in north Arlington, along the Potomac River, but couldn’t get any proof,” said County Natural Resources Manager Alonso Abugattas. “The public has sent us several pictures claiming coyotes but they were all either dogs or mangy foxes.”

What brings coyotes, long an iconic image of the West -– and paired with the Roadrunner in a beloved series of cartoons — to Arlington? Abugattas believes that our highly urbanized, densely populated County might actually be attractive to coyotes, who are skillful scavengers.

“Coyotes will make a living wherever they can find food, even in big cities,” he said. “I think they are here to stay.”

Arlington’s coyotes have proven to be very cautious and wary of people. They move around primarily at night, according to naturalists.

“Coyotes are very good at avoiding people, so residents shouldn’t be overly concerned,” Cliff Fairweather, a naturalist at the Long Branch Nature Center, said in a statement. “The key is for resident to not feed them or to encourage them not to be afraid of people. The longer they are afraid of people, the better it will be for coyotes and people.”

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