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Residents roiled over island coyotes

STEVE REID
Editor & Publisher
sreid@lbknews.com

Numerous coyote sightings have prompted fear among some of Longboat’s elderly population as well as an informational campaign by public officials attempting to educate and calm citizen concern.

Town staff will present the Longboat Key Town Commission with a coyote state of affairs presentation on Monday, Sept. 24 at the commission workshop.

It all started when last August, there were several sightings of coyotes on Longboat Key. The police department responded to reports by residents and verified a handful of the incidents. Town staff contacted Sarasota County Animal Control, which advised them they would only respond if an animal is aggressive or sick.

The town contacted an independent trapper who advised that coyotes are very difficult to capture and generally return to their territory or that the area they are removed from quickly repopulates with other coyotes. The trapper contacted said the charge would be $900 per week and there would be no guarantee of success.

On Aug. 30, the town hosted a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission workshop that focused on what to do if you see a coyote as well as how to safeguard pets and small children.

FWC presentation included senior scientists, biologists, law enforcement and staff. The FWC does not recommend trapping the coyotes and added that if tranquilized, euthanizing the animals is an option.

About 40 Longboaters attended the presentation last month, with some expressing a desire to eradicate the animals and others to protect the species.

The town next conducted a survey of Marco Island, Sanibel, Venice, Bradenton Beach, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria and St. Pete Beach to determine if those communities had a coyote problem and what they did to resolve it.

The town found out that all of the above jurisdictions had a coyote presence and that there was not a single police or incident report of coyotes harming humans or pets. None of the communities surveyed were successful in trapping or relocating the coyotes.

The options for Longboat Key are limited according to Town Police and staff. Longboat can either learn to live with the coyotes and educate residents, or trap, tranquilize and then euthanize the animals.

Currently, the police department is focused on public education. Residents are encouraged to report sightings to the police department by calling 941-316-1977.

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Longboat Key News

3 Responses for “Residents roiled over island coyotes”

  1. Who’s on first says:

    What’s all this fuss about coyotes? We’re an island far from the Mexican border and the coyotes that smuggle undocumented aliens provide a service, helping future voters find their way across the border and avoiding those brutes from ICE and the border patrol. I like to think those coyotes are simply entenaprerial folks looking to fil a niche, making a modest profit off folk trying to penetrate our porous border before Trump builds that wall.

    Oh, you’re talking about canine coyotes……well,then…… in the words of Emily Latella…….”never mind”.

  2. Catherine Strauss says:

    Coyotes are generally afraid of people. They are essential to keep the population of other animals in check. Turn on lights or make a noise and they’ll run away.

  3. ghostrider says:

    Coyotes eat rodents….mice and rats. Seaside communities abound in rodents.
    Would you like me to take you on a magical mystery tour?
    They are not a threat to your well-being.
    Red tide is.

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