Coyote in New Jersey. (AP)

Sightings of coyotes are becoming increasingly common in parts of the D.C. area and some biologists say the animals are here to stay, according to a report on WAMU.

Since they first appeared around 2004, coyotes have been found in Rock Creek Park in D.C., near Lake Thoreau in Reston and even in Baltimore. The animals are not native to the Mid-Atlantic, but they have been able to thrive here because we have eliminated their top predators such as grizzly bears, according to a Wildlife Society official quoted in the story.

If the idea of coyotes roaming our area makes you a bit apprehensive, you may want to skip this next part: The local breed is known as the eastern coyote, which is about 50 pounds larger than the western coyote, according to the report.

What’s more the animals will eat anything from garbage to small pets. In 2004, a coyote attacked two small dogs as a woman walked them near the Falls Church Metro station. The Wildlife Society official said the coyotes could even attack children.

“We need to instill that fear back in them, we need to be big and bad, and make a lot of noise...Wave your arms around, scream,” the Wildlife Society official told WAMU.

On the plus side, coyotes can keep down the rat and deer population, the official said.

Talk to us: Are you excited or scared about the prospect of our new “neighbors”? Do you think coyotes will be a threat or a benefit? Weigh in below in the comments.