It’s true -- Fairfax County officials have confirmed the presence of coyotes
in our county, as well as the Loft Ridge community. The appearance of coyotes in
our neighborhood is a recent occurrence – only in the last two or three
months – but they’ve been reported in the county and state as long ago as
summer of 2000.
Several people in Loft Ridge and on Cannon Lane have reported seeing coyotes
in the woods next to Cannon Lane, in the large field behind Lofthill,
Gladden and Medallion Courts, running across lower Ridge View Drive, and in
the woods behind Evergreen Knoll Court. These sightings describe
animals with the same height and build as a medium-sized dog (such as a
boxer or small collie), and resembling a small wolf, or a cross between a
fox and a German Shepherd. (The animals seen in Loft Ridge are
definitely not foxes, which are prevalent in our area, and are about
one-third the size of coyotes.* A picture of a coyote is posted at the
bottom of this page.)
Coyotes are shy when it comes to people and do not pose
a threat to adults or children. County and state officials do not
consider them a danger either, and for this reason have no plans to remove
or relocate them from our area. However, while coyotes will avoid contact
with humans and usually run as soon as they spot a person approaching,
their diet includes rodents (such as squirrels and rats),
rabbits, small deer, and yes, cats and dogs!!
do not allow your cats or dogs to roam or run freely in Loft Ridge
– although it cannot be confirmed if a recent incident involving the death
of a cat was attributed to a coyote, county officials warn that it is only a
matter of time before they prey on a cat or dog that wanders into their
territory. As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to protect your
animals since they are unaware and unable to defend themselves against this
new threat – please keep your cats and
dogs inside or leashed at all times! Please also keep trash cans
securely sealed and don’t leave any food source around that could attract
foxes or wolves to your yard.
More information on coyotes and foxes can be found at the Fairfax County
http://www.fairfaxva.gov/animals/FQA.asp#2 (click on Coyotes or Foxes to
firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, or if you see a coyote in
our area (we’d like to keep track of where they are and share this
information with other homeowners). Please also check the website (www.loftridge.com)
for updates on this and other important community information.
Thanks very much.
The Loft Ridge HOA Board
Picture of a coyote
also not considered a danger to humans, but are known to prey on small
mammals such as rabbits, squirrels, rats and even young cats, kittens and
puppies – if no other food source is available.
. . .