NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – North Port police want residents to keep an eye out for roaming coyotes.
The department posted a video of a coyote roaming around the area of North Cranberry Boulevard Thursday night.
It’s a growing issue that neighbors like Jeanne Frisbie are all too familiar with.
“When I first moved here, I had a couple of cats, and I lost two cats over the course of a couple of years, and I’m sure it was the bobcats or the coyotes that got ‘em,” said Frisbie.
Wildlife experts tell News Channel 8 in the past decade, coyote sightings have spiked across Sarasota County. Part of the reason comes from the rapid construction this region is experiencing. It’s forcing these coyotes to look for new homes, whether neighbors like it or not.
“Yeah, I’m not liking that at all, that’s very, very scary,” said resident Melissa Carpenter.
Experts say people who own small pets, like Carpenter, should keep their pets inside at night.
“[My dog] might just think it’s another dog and instead of running away from it, he’d probably just go right up to it,” explained Carpenter.
Officials say humans should stay away and not feed them.
If a coyote becomes accustomed to people, it could eventually attack them.
Officials also warn that coyotes run the risk of carrying rabies, just like the bobcat in a recent viral video.
In the end, coyotes are neighbors that deserve to be here and be left alone.
“They respect us, we respect them, just don’t feed them,” said Frisbie.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said it’s ineffective to control the population and remove the animals because others will take their place.