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Coyote spotted in Crofton Sunday morning

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Posted at 3:04 PM, Apr 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-16 21:39:31-04

CROFTON, Md. — A Crofton resident saw a surprising view in their backyard Sunday morning, reporting to police a “wolf sighting” in the small town that borders the Anne Arundel and Prince George’s County line.

Crofton police responded to a home in the 1800 block of Regents Park Road East at about 9:45 a.m. for the reported sighting of a large canine the home owner thought was a wolf, said Crofton Police Chief Earl Fox.

“It’s not uncommon to see a fox or squirrels, but a coyote is pretty rare around here, “said Fox. “I don’t remember ever seeing one or hearing of one being in this area. I guess the neighbor was a little startled when he saw something that looked like a wolf.”

Officers responded and attempted to scare the coyote out of the fenced in yard, Fox said. After opening both of the yard’s gates, officers entered and startled the coyote, which jumped over the fence and into a wooded area near the house. It has not been spotted since.

Fox suspects the animal may have come from a wooded area about a quarter of a mile away near Route 3. Construction there may have disturbed the coyote, sending it into the more residential setting of Crofton, Fox said.

Responding officers said the animal was large, weighing perhaps 80 or 90 pounds, Fox said. Coyotes normally stand about 16 inches tall and 32 to 37 inches in length, weighing about 20 to 50 pounds, according to National Geographic.

Coyotes are adaptable, opportunistic animals who eat “almost anything,” said National Geographic. They hunt rabies, rodents, fish, amphibians, and sometimes deer, while they’ll also consume bugs, snakes, grass, fruit, or carrion. Able to take advantage of living near humans, coyotes can eat human refuse and have been known to hunt and kill pets and livestock.

Crofton Police contacted Department of Natural Resources Police to alert them of the sighting. DNR Police said to leave the animal be and it would return to where it came from, “which it did,” Fox said.

“I would hope that it eventually made its way back across the highway, back into the woods,” Fox said, “and we don’t have to deal with it anymore.”