Following a coyote attack on a dog in the city of Fairfax, animal control officers are warning residents to beware of the city's "small resident coyote population."
The attack occurred in Daniels Run Park, located in the area between Old Lee Highway and Main Street. Officers believe the dog, which was off its leash, probably wandered too close to a coyote den.
Coyotes are generally not a danger to humans unless they're "sick, injured or threatened," officers say. They're reminding owners to keep their dogs on leashes and to stay on established trails.
Animal Control is warning residents not to leave pets outside while unattended; not to leave pet food outside, and to secure all household trash. Coyotes do most of their hunting at night, and they will eat cats, small dogs and other pets.
If you're approached by a coyote, make a lot of noise -- such as clapping, yelling or stomping your feet -- to scare it off, officers say.
Call Animal Control immediately if you see a coyote that seems to be sick, injured or acting aggressively. In Fairfax County, that number is 703-385-7924.