Coyote spotted near Forest Hills condominium

1:15 PM, Jan 3, 2013   |    comments
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Becky Bunting spotted this coyote outside her Forest Hills condiminium.

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - It's common to see deer, raccoons, skunks and turkeys in West Michigan suburbs; coyotes are more rare.

That's why Forest Hills resident Becky Bunting was so surprised when she noticed a coyote as big as a German Shepherd, hunting in the woods next to her condominium.

"As soon as I saw it I ran and got my camera," she says. "It stopped and I probably got 10 or 12 pictures of it."

At first Bunting says she thought the coyote was her neighbors big dog, or a fox.

"It was really beautiful, but I could tell it had an injured foot on its back left leg," she recalls. "It could move freely but it didn't put weight down on that back left leg."

Experts say we don't often see coyotes because they mostly hunt after dark. But Blandford Nature Center Ecology Education Coordinator Kristin Tindall says they are out there.

"It might be surprising for people, especially in more suburban neighborhoods, to realize coyotes are fairly common here in Michigan," she says. "They don't mind living so close to humans so Forest Hills is perfectly within their range."

Tindall says we are more likely to see coyotes this time of year because it's their mating season. She also says they avoid people and aren't much of a danger to humans, but they might try to kill and eat unattended pets.

"I'm sure it was hungry, so I put out some dog food way out on the back hill," says Bunting. "I'm sure its just trying to survive like we all do. It's just living out in the only woods left into the area."

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