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Image and text content is shared with permission, courtesy of the Tuscawilla Homeowners Association. The original, printed article can be found in the most recent edition of Tuscawilla Today magazine.
Editor’s Note: Coyote sightings are on the increase in Winter Springs. Reports started in the Highlands, moved to Winding Hollow, and Oak Forest, so it is reasonable to think that Tuscawilla may be next. Traditionally coyote’s diet includes mice, rabbits and feral cats, lizards, snakes, insects, whitetailed deer fawns, small wild pigs, grasses, fruit (watermelon, persimmons and wild berries), grains, fish and carrion. They have also been known to prey on livestock, mainly calves and sheep. However, they roam and make their homes where they find food.
More and more often, that is wooded areas around residential neighborhoods; especially when the food supply in an area diminishes. Coyotes produce litters of six pups each spring.
Bob Cross of Magnolia Plantation shared the following: “I have been asked several times lately to post an update about new information involving coyote attacks on pets. Yes, the attacks are on the increase, but not everyone hears about them. Because of my background with wildlife and trapping nuisance animals, I am usually notified about every Coyote attack in Seminole County.
The first and most important information that I want everyone to be aware of is that Coyotes have started cutting the screens on pool enclosures to gain access to cats and dogs. What has happened is that the Coyotes have eaten most of the feral cats and the family indoor/outdoor cats so now they are cutting the pool screens to get the cats and small dogs.
Within the last 60 days there have been 3 incidents within the Markham Woods Rd corridor where pool screens have been cut and cats taken. In addition, you can not longer let your small dogs out by themselves to go to the bathroom. And you cannot take them out without a leash or let them out by themselves to do their business. In the past year there have been several small dogs taken by Coyotes which were not on leashes including the one last night on Markham Woods Rd. In a couple of attacks the owners were able to yell loud enough to make the Coyote drop the dog. Those were the lucky owners.
Another tip is when you take your dog out on a leash at night keep it on a 6 foot leash close to your body. In most cases Coyotes are afraid of a large figure or large dog. However, if your dog is at the end of a long retractable leash a Coyote WILL attack. It happened in Boca Raton, Florida. Google: “Boca Raton Florida Coyote Attacks Dog On Leash”. It is a very interesting YouTube.
Also be aware that a Coyote can jump a 6 foot fence grab a pet and jump back over the fence. One of my clients actually lost their small dog by this method. Thanks for listening and please tell every pet owner.
Many of our Facebook users are familiar with Bob Cross’s talents snake and wildlife removal. So, thank you, Bob Cross, for this valuable information. Bob can be reached for information about trapping Coyotes 407-810-9727. ◆
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