A reader wrote in the ask us:
I’ve been hearing from residents that some cats have been killed because of coyotes, we live in College park are there really coyotes in our neighborhood?!
It turns out her neighbors are most likely telling the truth. We’ve seen some reports recently of coyotes in the Bungalow Districts and of the coyotes killing cats and small dogs.
The photo above is of a coyote at the Greenwood Cemetery in the Lake Davis/Greenwood neighborhood.
We spoke with Greg Workman from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission who told Bungalower “coyotes being in Orlando or downtown is not unheard of.”
It turns out that while a 1990 report showed they were limited mostly to northern Florida with only occasional sightings in our area, it appears they have now spread more rapidly into the Orlando area.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission does not track/count coyotes in the state but they did receive over 100 nuisance calls last year regarding coyotes in the 12 county area that makes up our FWC district.
If you take a look at most of the community message boards for neighborhoods in our area you’ll see reports of the coyotes killing cats and sometimes even small dogs.
Coyotes can and do prey on domestic cats and small dogs. The fish and wildlife commission advises:
To protect your pets, don’t allow them to roam freely. Most coyote attacks on pets occur either at night or at dusk or dawn. During these times especially, be careful if you’re walking your pet in wooded areas or in heavily foliaged areas where coyotes could hide. Keep your dog close, on a short leash. Keep cats indoors. When cats wander freely, there’s an increased risk of them being attacked by coyotes. Coyotes are also attracted by garbage. Problems can be significantly reduced if residents remove attractants and secure trash.
Have you spotted any in your neighborhood?
Here’s another photo of the coyote at the Greenwood Cemetery. Both photos courtesy Marcia Kazmi.