HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) – Hampton officials confirm the city has seen an increase in coyote sightings, which has some residents worried.

Although these animals are generally not dangerous to humans, they can present a threat to smaller pets.

If you encounter a coyote, here’s what the city says you should do:

  • Be careful about letting small dogs and cats outside unattended at dusk or overnight.
  • If you see a coyote, keep your distance. Make noise (yell, blow a whistle, throw rocks) to scare it away so it doesn’t get used to humans.
  • Make yourself look bigger, stand tall.
  • Retreat by backing away slowly (don’t turn your back on the animal).
  • Tell someone, an adult if you’re a child, and your neighbors to let them be aware.

Coyotes are native to the Great Plains, but expanded their territory and have been in Hampton Roads for years.

Hampton’s Animal Control staff is not allowed to trap or capture wild animals, unless an animal is sick or injured, but there are private trappers licensed by the state residents can hire. They are difficult to trap. Live traps seldom work, and while leg traps are the most common, they cause damage resulting in the animal to be euthanized.

Additional Resources: