ISLE OF PALMS, S.C. (WCBD) – The Isle of Palms Police Department (IOPPD) on Wednesday released a statement warning residents and visitors of increased coyote activity lately.

According to IOPPD, coyotes breed through February and March, and “normally feed and protect their young in dens and surrounding areas” in April, making them more active in daytime hours.

Additionally, a coyote den has been reported at the 25th avenue beach access, leading to increased activity nearby.

IOPPD recommends keeping dogs on leashes at all times near beach access paths amid the increased coyote activity. Although “domesticated dogs are not normally prey for coyotes, they might feel threatened by other animals near their dens.”

Should you come in contact with a coyote, IOPPD says to take the following steps:

  1. Maintain eye contact while slowly backing away — never turn your back on a coyote.
  2. If you have a small child, place them behind you as you back away. DO NOT let them run.
  3. Make yourself look large by raising your arms above your head.
  4. Make a lot of noise to frighten the coyote.
  5. Throw sticks or rocks in the coyote’s direction.
  6. Shine a flashlight in the coyote’s eyes if you encounter one at night.
  7. Do not show fear because they can sense it.
  8. Remain aware of your surroundings because there are likely more coyotes nearby.

Coyote sightings should be reported to IOPPD at (843) 866-6522.