Coyote sightings move Atlantic Beach officials to action
Officials contemplate using trappers after recent sightings
ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – In response to recent coyote sightings in Atlantic Beach, city officials said on Friday that they are working with the police department to determine if steps beyond public education are needed.
City officials said they have received four coyote sightings in the area since Jan. 18. While the fact-gathering effort continues, city officials said residents should continue to report sightings.
Atlantic Beach officials said residents should report sightings by calling the Atlantic Beach Animal Control at 904-247-5866, or email email@example.com. Officials said to call 911 if there is an imminent threat to personal safety.
City officials are asking residents to provide an approximate time, date and location of sightings. They also encourage residents to provide the contact information of anyone who has seen coyotes recently, or has information related to coyote attacks on pets.
Residents should be aware that attractants such as small, free-ranging pets, pet food, garbage, bird seed and fallen fruit are some common culprits that bring coyotes into communities. It is important to keep all cats indoors, and dogs should be kept on a short leash and supervised while outdoors.
People can also use hazing techniques such as yelling, throwing rocks and using air horns or pepper spray to scare the coyotes away. Coyotes are generally not a threat to people and are usually easily scared off.
Experts tend to agree that the best approach to coyote presence is to do nothing, but the city is considering hiring a licensed coyote trapper as an option. It should be noted that according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, all trapped animals are euthanized.
Click here to read the Atlantic Beach coyote report.
Below is a list of possible coyote sightings:
- December 2013 – Confirmed sighting in Howell Park. The city paid for a trapper to set two traps in the park. No coyote was trapped.
- May 31, 2016 – Report of a coyote at the gas station across the street from Hardees at the corner of Mayport and Donners roads. A citizen saw it when she was feeding feral cats around 9:30 p.m.
- Sept. 20, 2016 – A citizen feeding feral cat colonies along Mayport Road said she thinks a coyote is living near Hardees and eating cats.
- Oct. 10, 2016 – A man flagged down a police officer on Marshview Court and reported seeing a coyote at the end of Levy Road.
- October 2016 – The resident at the dead end of Inland Way reported seeing a coyote trotting behind her dog about 3 a.m. The coyote reportedly ran away upon seeing the resident.
- Nov. 5, 2016 – A resident reported seeing a coyote running through the five-way intersection near Atlantic Beach City Hall the previous evening, headed toward the tennis courts on Seminole Road.
- Dec. 13, 2016 – A resident reporting seeing a coyote about 4:15 p.m. behind her house on the 2200 block of Oceanwalk Drive West.
- Dec. 18, 2016 – A citizen video recorded a coyote in Howell Park during daylight. The coyote ran away upon seeing the person.
- Dec. 20, 2016 – A resident reported seeing a coyote eating berries in the backyard of a residence on the 2300 block of Oceanwalk Drive West in mid-day.
- Jan. 17, 2017 – A resident reported that she saw a coyote within the last few weeks near the 1500 block of Main Street.
- Jan. 18, 2017– Some residents reported having recently seen a coyote near the Beaches Memorial Park and First Coast Funeral Home on Main Street.
- Jan 18, 2017 – A resident reported seeing a coyote walking down the street about 5:15 a.m. on the 800 block of Sailfish Drive.
- Jan. 21, 2017 – A resident reported seeing a coyote about 8:30 p.m. at 11th Street and Seminole Road.
- Jan. 22, 2017 – A resident said she thinks she saw a thin, grayish brown coyote about 3 p.m. in the backyard of her home on the 300 block of Main Street. She said the animal quickly fled when it saw her.
Jan. 24 – A Neptune Beach police officer reported seeing a coyote run across Atlantic Boulevard from Neptune Beach onto Seminole Road, and last seeing the animal on Magnolia Street heading towards Howell Park.
Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.