PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – A safety alert is going out to families in Pembroke Pines, especially those with young children and pets.
A coyote was recently spotted in the area of Northwest 15th Court and Northwest 83rd Way.
CBS4 News obtained cell phone video showing the coyote in the backyard of a home.
“I was a little nervous, at first, but obviously I had the grass between myself and my dog and the coyote. So, I wasn’t too nervous,” Kyle Creech said.
Creech and his dog stayed inside their home and looked on as the coyote jumped over the fence into a neighbor’s yard.
“It jumped over this neighbor’s fence, that neighbor’s fence, and it just took off heading west,” Creech said.
The homeowner and his wife also did their part in alerting neighbors.
“I didn’t want to hear about a coyote getting to them as well. So, I put it on the Nextdoor app and it kind of spread like wildfire from there,” Creech said.
Coyotes are found in every county in Florida. Originally, they’re from the western states.
Florida Fish and Wildlife says the animals follow food, whether in a wooded/grassy area or a neighborhood in any part of the state.
People are told to keep an eye on small children and small pets. There are also ways to keep them away from homes, like securing the garbage outside.
“If you leave out bird feed or if you leave out cat food or if you leave out dog food, things like that would attract other types of animals that could potentially also attract coyotes,” Spokesperson Carol Lyn Parrish with Florida Fish and Wildlife said.
The animals also help control the populations of rodents, foxes, and raccoons. Wildlife experts say removing them will only force younger coyotes to repopulate and move back into the area.
Usually, they’re shy around people.
“Let the coyote know that you’re the authority and you don’t want the coyote to come any closer to you and you want the coyote to really leave the area,” Parrish said.
That could be done by making noises or tossing pebbles at the animal.
Creech said he and his wife will now be on alert before allowing their dog outside.
“I have to check the yard before we let the dog out from now on,” Creech said.
Wildlife experts say don’t feed them or they’ll lose their fear of humans.
An average coyote weighs about 20-30 pounds.
If neighborhoods want more information on how to live around coyotes, a representative from FWC can set up a meeting a presentation.
For more information, click here.