BELLAIRE Residents near Bellaire, concerned about the safety of their pets, sought help from wildlife experts following a rash of sightings of wild coyotes.

They ve depleted my bunny population considerably, said Chuck Coates, who raises animals in the area. They re getting the neighbor s animals and I hate to see anyone lose their favorite cat or dog.

At issue is a small track of land beneath high tension power lines sandwiched between Bellaire and Houston.

The coyotes have been spotted roaming there numerous times in recent weeks.

What we have are urban coyotes, said Ray Field, the Executive Director of the Wild Horse Foundation, which relocates wild animals.

Field is investigating to determine where the coyotes sleep and plans to extract the animals when possible.

We ll tranquilize them and dart them with a gun, he said. We ll take them back to the foundation and turn them loose and let them run where they belong.

But that could be a tall order according to some residents in the area who believe there are more animals running wild than the experts realize.

There are several coyotes back here and we ve been seeing and hearing them for several years, said Luetta Allen.

Allen said a coyote pup even climbed into her back yard one day.

And we called animal control and they explained that they were native creatures to the area and they wouldn t come collect them. So we put them down and he scampered back off to the den.

In fact, no one knows for sure how many coyotes are roaming through the area. Still, Field believes relocating the animals is the best thing to do.

We don t want any harm to come to them or anybody when there are ways to protect them, said Field.

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