LORIS, SC (WMBF) Neighbors in a rural Loris community just west of Highway 701 said their farm animals and household pets are turning up missing, and in some cases, dead. And now, some say they'd like to see a solution about the problem.
"There used to be a lot of birds but them coyotes caught them and eat them," Isaac Cannon said.
Cannon said he thinks its coyotes who are eating the neighborhood pets in his neighborhood.
"They'll kill your cats too. I had one black cat. His name was "Muffin" and I believe one killed him because he's gone," Cannon said.
Another man in the community said he's an avid hunter, but after he looked straight into the eye of a black panther, he's staying away from the woods.
Despite all the animal sightings, 81-year-old Virginia Johnston Baker lives alone, and she said she knows all about the wildlife that lives in her backyard, but it's her own animal that keeps her feeling safe.
"I'm not frightened of the animals. I don't go out in the woods and things after dark or anything. But I have a big German Shepard dog and if I want to walk around anywhere she goes with me," Baker said.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, a license of permit is not required to trap a coyote within 100 yards of a person's home. But Baker said, since she lives in the country, wildlife should be able to live in the woods.
"I try to take care of my trees and things so that the animals will have some place to go. They deserve to live on this Earth as well as we do," Baker said.
But Cannon disagreed.
"They need to trap them and try to catch some of them coyotes and take them somewhere else and don't leave them around here," Cannon said.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said it has never released coyotes into the state for any reason. It said the animal was illegally brought into South Carolina for hound running.