Coyotes are now more common than ever in South Carolina. Here’s what you need to know
Cayce officials have closed a park after coyotes were spotted.
Coyotes were sighted near Granby Gardens Park, which is off 12th Street close to Cayce City Hall and the Cayce Historical Museum. One of the coyotes was caught and found to have rabies, the city said. The park will remain closed until further notice, officials said.
The dog-like predators, smaller cousins of the wolf, began migrating to South Carolina 30 years ago, The State reported in January 2018 after a coyote was spotted near downtown Columbia.
Hunters imported coyotes for decades into South Carolina because they were considered better quarry for mounted fox hunts than foxes. When Hurricane Hugo blew through in 1989 falling trees ruptured many pens, setting even more coyotes loose.
Because of expanding cities and a growing coyote population, the animals are spotted more frequently in urban areas. Most often those neighborhoods are near natural areas.
Coyotes have become so established in South Carolina that hunters are killing 30,000 of them a year without making much of a dent in the population, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
The city of Cayce asked that if anyone sees a coyote to call Cayce Public Safety at 803-794-0456