SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCBD) – Kevin Murphy with Critter Control says they captured two coyotes in the last three weeks on Sullivan’s Island, and now, they’re working to capture even more.

“We don’t catch a whole heck of a lot of them because they’re extremely hard to catch,” said Murphy, who has worked with the town to capture coyotes since 2016.

“We mainly trap on the public property,” he said. “The dunes and areas that the island owns.”

Sullivan’s Island officials report both coyote sightings and attacks have become more prevalent on the island in the last few months. In August alone, five dogs were attacked including one that was ambushed in broad daylight.

“The fact that they’re attacking dogs on the beach… out in the open, that’s rare, and they’ve just gotten more and more bold,” he said.

Due to the rise in coyote encounters, Murphy says the town is now taking a more aggressive approach by stepping up its patrol and recruiting wildlife experts like himself to prevent future attacks.

“They’ve given us more range on where to do it,” he said. “The Wildlife Department has given me a permit to trap until the 31st of December, and they emphasized if I need it after that, they would issue it after that as well.”

Murphy advises pet owners to keep their animals on a leash so they don’t accidentally get caught in the traps.