Atlanta isn't called the "City in a Forest" for no reason. Our lush canopy not only provides us with scenic vistas and sneeze-inducing mounds of yellow pollen, it also gives habitats to a surprisingly large range of wildlife. One Sandy Springs homeowner has himself so concerned about the coyotes roaming near his yard, he had a serious chat with Reporter Newspapers about it, saying things that sounded more like he was dealing with an influx of zombies than an animal that, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, has not increased its numbers in the area in more than a decade. Said the homeowner: "Do I live among them or decide to take action and protect my family? I don't know what to do." (Cue Walking Dead music.) To be fair though, he isn't the only one in Sandy Springs who is up for a battle with the furry prowlers. In 2011, a Sandy Springs HOA voted to hire trappers to capture and euthanize the animals. Coyotes aren't rare in the metro area. In November, a coyote was spotted in Piedmont Park and super-hip urban coyotes have even been known to hang out in Midtown. Keep your pets indoors, y'all.
It's probably not wise to rile up already concerned homeowners, but in reality, no Atlanta neighborhood is safe from weird animal encounters. In addition to the usual array of raccoons, rats, hawks, and squirrels that you'd expect to find in the metro area, there have been several unexpected visitors: In 2008, a man fishing the Chattahoochee claims to have stumbled across an eight-foot alligator. A baby buffalo ended up on I-20 in 2010. Black bears have decided to settle in and raise families in the northern suburbs. Wild pigs ran amok in DeKalb County last year. A wayward zebra made his way onto the Connector in 2010. And a venomous tiger rattlesnake escaped from Zoo Atlanta and terrorized a Grant Park homeowner, who killed the animal on his front porch. And you were worried about coyotes?