Coyote sightings in Cape Coral
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Florida Fish and Wildlife (FWC) says the coyote population is increasing in southwest Florida and it's taken seven reports since October. Fox 4 speaks with a Cape mom and daughter, who want to make sure the species is protected.
Monday night, Laurel Egan and her daughter, Morgan, were driving along Burnt Store Road in Cape Coral when they spotted something out of the ordinary.
"I looked back and there was this little black thing running across the road and i saw it go into the other side in the grass," said Morgan, 14.
What they saw was likely a coyote. And neighbors along NW 11th Street, who didn't want to go on-camera, confirm seeing them all the time.
"My first reaction was it's really cool to see that kind of animal here," said Egan.
Morgan added, "I was like I've only seen coyotes on cartoons and stuff so it was pretty cool."
FWC officials say coyotes aren't uncommon. Since last month, there have been three reports in Cape Coral alone.
"There are coyotes all over Florida," said Angeline Scotten, a wildlife assistant biologist, with FWC. "They've been doing well in urban environments."
But Laurel and Egan worry FWC advises shooting a coyote when necessary.
"They said that if it comes near their dog or cat or animal that he could shoot it and that's just not right," vented Morgan.
Egan contended, "I think that's just a horrible idea."
FWC agrees but because coyotes are not a protected species, there's little it can do.
"If it's a legally discharged firearm and they have landowner's permission on private property, then yes they can shoot a coyote," said Scotten.
But they advise a better alternative.
"There are so many coyotes and they're doing so well in Florida, we would rather folks haze coyotes and use scare tactics and keep them out of urban environments," said
A suggestion Egan, an animal-lover, can live with.
"Something that's just broadening it's territory and has moved into the area, i think it's a live and let live," said Egan.