MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) — Caught off guard, but caught on camera. Dr. Steven Poletti buzzed himself into the Southeastern Spine Institute building last Wednesday, unaware what was trailing close behind him.
"Opened the door and walked in and right as I walked in, I felt the coyote brush by and I took a step in and the door shut behind me,” Poletti said on Monday.
In the stairwell between the office and the operating room, he said he was face-to-face with a coyote. With only keys and coffee in hand, he made a run for it. The animal followed, but ran off in a different direction.
"When he got up close to me, I was bigger than he could probably take down,” Poletti said. “I thought that the coyote was pretty scared and when it was growling, it was almost like a freight or flight kind of thing."
He said the growling startled him.
"It sounded like a wild animal, it looked like a wild animal, it clearly wasn't just a dog,” he said. “It was something you can tell for sure."
Nathan Agee, wildlife removal specialist with Animal Pros said coyote sightings are becoming more common in Mount Pleasant. He said gets coyote calls two to three times per week. He said growth and development are largely to blame.
"All of Mount pleasant is a wildlife refuge basically,” Agee said. "Removing their habitat and removing their prey so they are trying to find food in places because there's so much pressure on them it's hard for them to get a good meal."
The coverage of the coyote caught one Mount Pleasant woman by surprise.
She said the animal is actually her dog, adding he went missing for 45 minutes last Wednesday morning, not far from the Southeastern Spine Institute. While the woman wouldn’t go on camera or reveal her name, she did send pictures.
You be the judge, was this animal a coyote or the husky/staffy mix who wandered away from home?