INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A wolf-coyote hybrid has some people in the Broad Ripple community on edge after a video of the animal running around the streets in broad daylight made the rounds on social media Friday.
The animal was spotted near East 57th Street and Guilford Avenue.
Indiana Department of Natural Resources and Indiana wildlife management experts said the animal in the video is real. They said they have seen the video and it’s likely a cross breed between a wolf and a coyote, or a “woyote.”
The rare sighting has people living here worried after the animal became aggressive.
“When I noticed the tail, and I was like, ‘OK, I’ve got to film this,'” said Heather Harvey, who caught the woyote on camera. “No one is going to believe me that this thing is this big! So, I just whipped out my camera.”
Harvey was running errands Friday when she spotted the animal around noon.
“I kind of tracked it down an alley, I was like, ‘OK, what if it gets into someone’s yard? I need to try and be proactive!'” said Harvey. “Then it kind of lunged out at my car from behind a bush and I was like, ‘Oh, shhh, OK, I’m done. I’m done.'”
Wildlife experts that talked to News 8 said small children and pets at the most at risk as woyotes can get as big as 65-70 pounds.
“I was horrified,” Sherry Hamstra said. “That’s really scary. I’ve been hearing about coyotes in this area. and weren’t really sure if they were coyotes quite honestly.”
Hamstra was out Friday walking her blind dog Zeus in the neighborhood where the woyote was spotted. She said she fears for the safety of her dog and wants the dangerous animal off the streets.
But, paying for that will have to come out of locals’ pocket as Natural Resources said it does not have the funding to catch the animal.
“If it’s around the neighborhood enough that people are videotaping it, like the video, then someone from animal control should be looking out,” Hamstra said. “Because I know that’s not the first report. It’s not like that’s the first time it’s been seen.”
So Hamstra and people in the area need to keep their eyes peeled and hope they don’t cross paths with this crossbreed any time soon.
Here’s some tips on what you can do if you happen to run in to a woyote:
- Don’t run or the animal will chase you.
- Make loud noises and don’t stare into its eyes; that can be seen as a sign of aggression.
- If you do happen to see this animal or any others, contact a local animal control operator for help.