Close encounter with coyote has neighbors scared, calling for animal control help

City of Austin put a camera to monitor coyote activity in a north Austin neighborhood. (PHOTO: CBS Austin)

Neighbors who live near the Steck Valley Greenbelt in north Austin are used to hearing the pitter-patter of animals roaming around the wooded area near their homes. But one neighbor had an encounter with an animal on Thursday that was too close for comfort.

A neighbor, who asked to remain anonymous, said she heard what she thought was her dog walking around in her backyard, when she found out it was a coyote making that noise.

"I found a coyote two flights up a spiral staircase, with a cat," the neighbor said. "I was jumping up and down and screaming and hollering, trying to claim my territory, and move the coyote back."

That eventually scared the coyote away.

In order to get to her deck's staircase, the coyote had to jump over a six-foot fence.

After the reality of the situation set in, the neighbor was flooded with emotions.

"You're scared, you're realizing that you're in danger. You're realizing, oh my gosh, my son's cat is in danger," she said.

The cat encountered by the coyote turned out not to be her family's cat.

After such a close encounter, the neighbor became concerned for her family's safety, and called animal control.

Friday morning, animal control came and installed a camera in her backyard, to monitor the coyote situation, and to try and better understand why it would get so close to humans.

Other neighbors have also noticed coyote activity, and are glad animal control is working on it.

"We could hear them sometimes. When there's a litter. You can hear them yapping yapping yapping," said Geertruida Whiteaker.

Until animal control figures out what's going on, neighbors will be extra careful.

"I feel a little less safe. We'll be making some changes," the anonymous neighbor said.

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