A sign warning of a pack of coyotes hangs near 2660 Croydon Dr. (Aaron Hinks photo)

A sign warning of a pack of coyotes hangs near 2660 Croydon Dr. (Aaron Hinks photo)

South Surrey woman sounds alarm after encounter with pack of coyotes

Susan Martin said three full-grown coyotes were lurking around her home

A South Surrey woman is warning her neighbours to be cautious after she had a close encounter with a pack of coyotes Sunday evening.

Susan Martin said she was watching TV with her two Boston terriers by her side when she heard a yipping sound coming from outside.

Martin, who lives near Croydon Drive and 152 Street, went to investigate. She looked through her window and saw three coyotes staring back at her. The animals were just a few feet away from her house.

“So I’m standing there and I’m breathless. I couldn’t move,” she told Peace Arch News Monday. “All I could see is the glowing eyes.”

Martin said the coyotes started walking in her direction as her two dogs were barking.

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“They’re not afraid of anybody and they were about the size of German shepherds. They looked like three full adults,” she said of the coyotes.

She suspects the coyotes are living on or near 2660 Croydon Dr., which is a vacant property with overgrown grass that’s slated for development. There’s a proposal in place to build 252 rental apartment units, 8,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 32,000 sq. ft. of office space.

Speaking of the number of new and young families that have moved into the area, Martin expressed concern for small children and pets.

She said one of her neighbours had three cats go missing. She also lost a senior cat that she originally thought walked away and died of old age. But now, she’s not so sure.

According to the BCSPCA, the Lower Mainland is home to about 2,000-3,000 urban coyotes, which moved into the area in the 1980s.

Generally, coyotes are not dangerous to people, but some lose their fear of humans when they are fed and may attack small pets or unattended small children, according to the organization.

“Often these aggressive individual animals have been regularly fed by someone in the area,” information on the BCSPCA website states.

“If you see a coyote, scare it away by yelling, stamping your feet and waving your arms. Make lots of noise and try to look big. This may feel silly, but will help the coyote avoid future problems. Teach children how to scare away a coyote if they see one, but never throw anything at the animals.”

To report an aggressive or threatening coyote, call 1-800-663-9453.