Meet our wild neighbors

Deer, coyotes, bobcats, bears and more don't live in a forest far away. They can all be found in many of the wooded areas near our neighborhoods along the Grand Strand and in the Pee Dee.

Carolina Forest is surrounded by forest. Sergeant Nate Hutson with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources says you would be surprised by what may be lurking just beyond your yards. He says, "There's animals close to you that you don't even know exist."

Hutson says for the most part, they don't want to have anything to do with humans and will keep their distance.

According to Hutson, "If they stumble across you, it's an accident. They don't want to be around you, unless you're providing a food source for them."

However, Renee Sciapiti, who lives in The Farm in Carolina Forest says a coyote attacked her chihuahua, Harley.

Harley survived the attack, but Sciapiti's veterinarian bills topped $7,000.

Since the attack, Sciapiti has reinforced her fence and keeps a close eye on Harley.

"I'm outside with them. I stay with them and make sure. I got a doggie door so when they have to come out and do their numbers, but yeah, I'm a little bit more concerned about them getting out. I mean you can see all the work we've put in here to keep them safe."

Sergeant Nate Hutson says that's exactly what pet owners need to do.

"It can be a danger, but you know it's one of those things, with pets comes responsibility. You know, you wouldn't leave your child in the backyard unattended, watch your dog if you're worried about it," he said.

If you have a problem with wildlife interfering with your pets, Sgt. Hutson recommends calling a licensed wildlife removal specialist.

If it's a problem with a domestic animal like a dog or a cat, your county's animal control office might be able to help, but DNR won't be able to, because their job is to protect the wildlife that lives near us.