A small, six-pound dog was allegedly attacked by an adult coyote and two cubs in Winter Park at 9 a.m. Monday, July 17.
The incident happened on the 600 block of Lander Road, just on the other side of a private, fenced-in backyard; on the southwestern corner of a large track of land and series of lakes between the Mayflower Retirement Community and the Interlachen Country Club [GMap].
The owner of Walle, a seven-year-old Maltese and Yorkshire Terrier mix, believed he had escaped through a small gap created by recent floodwater, according to an earlier report by the Orlando Sentinel.
Walle later died of his injuries.
Residents in College Park resorted to hiring their own private trapping service in 2015, which is permitted by Florida Fish and Wildlife, as they simply do not have the man power for an urban coyote colony. Animals that are caught are killed, as relocation is not an option.
Coyotes are well-suited to urban living and are considered to be a naturalized species in much of the state, which includes Orlando and Winter Park. The best way to protect family pets is to not allow them to roam freely near dusk or dawn, when coyotes are active and to be exceptionally careful when walking in wooded areas where coyotes can hide.
The diet of a coyote includes fruits, insects, rats, mice, rabbits, livestock, birds, and carrion. Coyotes are attracted by garbage and food left outside. You should eliminate attractants and secure your trash to remove any temptation for coyotes to enter your property.
If you see one, you should make loud noises and wave your arms. Loud noises and “hazing” behavior should get it to retreat. You may have to take a step towards it to let it know you mean business, and you should continue to make noise until it has left the area, or it may come back. Don’t try to hurt it, or it will defend itself. Running could encourage it to chase you. It’s best to teach young children about the differences between a coyote and a dog so they know not to approach one; a good rule of thumb being, that if it doesn’t have a collar, don’t pet it.