Coyote reportedly spotted in Seattle's densely populated Ballard neighborhood

KING COUNTY -- If you've spotted coyotes in your neighborhood, you are most definitely not alone. Coyotes were reportedly spotted in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle just days ago.

"That Ballard neighborhood with the railroad track -- that is just a coyote super highway through there,” says Sgt. Kim Chandler with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Chandler says coyotes are everywhere in Western Washington; in every single neighborhood, both city and rural. And if you're seeing them more frequently that's because right now it's mating season.

“They are literally everywhere,” says Chandler.

The extreme weather we've experienced isn't helping matters either.

“This last summer, as we all know, was really dry, hot and dry. The blackberries and a lot of the fruit trees kind of dried up and blew away. A lot of people don't realize that coyotes rely heavily on fruit. So that extending on to now. It was a tough fall trying to find things to eat,” says Chandler.

He says coyotes prefer to hunt in the dark, but they are not nocturnal. And while they aren't usually considered a danger to people, you'll remember the little girl who survived a coyote attack in the Snoqualmie Ridge area back in December. And while attacks like that one may not be common, seeing them around your neighborhood is, no matter where you live, especially now.

“Get used to it, folks; they are here, they are not going anywhere,” says Chandler.

He says you must be responsible with your pets and keep an eye on them while they are in your backyard. And if you spot a coyote, make yourself big and make loud noises. It should get scared and run off.

Chandler says spotting a coyote is not worth reporting, but Fish and Wildlife definitely want to know anytime a person or pet is attacked.