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UNION CITY, Ga. (WXIA) -- Lawana Johnson is not taking any chances. She tip-toed around her house, peeked through windows, and even whispered to avoid spooking the slumbering beast in her neighbor's backyard.

"A couple days ago I heard something howling out here and thought it was some kids playing," Johnson said. "Apparently it was a coyote, and to actually see this in your backyard is disturbing."

She was worried about the coyote attacking someone in the neighborhood. Wildlife officials say the animals are the ones afraid.

"As long as you give them some space they'll retain that fear," said Don McGowan, a Wildlife Biologist at the Department of Natural Resources. "Even coyotes." McGowan spoke to 11Alive about coyotes back in March, when they were spotted near a local elementary school.

Animal control officers aren't trained to handle wild animals, so trappers have to be called for coyotes. One quoted a price to Johnson and her neighbors, but between $250 and $500, they thought it was a little high. They say they'll just keep tabs on the coyote for now. Kanika Williams said at least she now knows what had been getting into her trash.

"We see lots of stuff around here like deer, rabbits," said Williams. "It's pretty much like a bad Disney dream."

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