Coyotes or wolf dogs? Experts weigh in on what animal people are seeing in Fairfield
People in Fairfield say they are seeing big dogs that look like wolves in their yards.
But what are they really, and why are they there?
Just before Halloween, Rich and Karen Felitto say they saw what they think was a wolf dog.
"There was this shaggy looking wolf. I mean, it had to be at least an 80-pound dog," said Eric Felitto.
Felitto says his parents saw a strange looking wolf in their yard recently that they captured on video. The family says it left and then came back and stayed for three hours.
"At one point my Dad was yelling at it and whistling to see if it would move and it just kind of looked at him," said Felitto.
"We all think it looks like a little bit more like a coyote than a hybrid," said Jenny Dickson with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
News 12 Connecticut asked the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to take a closer look at exactly what it is.
"It's not out of the realm of possibility that we're going to have a wolf-dog hybrid in the state, but this animal looks a little more coyote-like to all of us," said Dickson.
DEEP says coyotes here in Connecticut are larger than most, about the size of a small German shepherd.
"This time of year, coyotes are getting their winter coats so they look a lot scruffier, they look a lot fluffier and they tend to look a lot bigger than they might otherwise," said Dickson.
DEEP says people across the state are contacting them with pictures of coyotes in their neighborhoods. Experts say the coyote population is growing and they are incredibly adaptive animals. They are even showing up in big cities like Bridgeport.
"Water dishes can sometimes be attractive to a coyote that's moving through a neighborhood, particularly in years like this when we've had a lot of droughts in various parts of the state," said Dickson.
Felitto says whatever it is, he doesn't want to see it again.
"It's definitely not something I would be cool myself personally if it was in my backyard going out and having an interaction with it," said Felitto.
DEEP reminds people to contact their local animal control and make sure they are aware of any sightings of animals that shouldn't be in your yard so they can monitor the situation.
DEEP has more information on their website, or you can call 860-424-3555.