SAFETY HARBOR, Fla (FOX 13) - A pair of coyotes was spotted strolling through the North Bay Hills subdivision Sunday night, leaving residents a little uneasy. Cell phone video shows the coyotes walking down Blue Heron Street.
David Kelley and his wife followed the coyotes in case anyone was outside.
"We wanted to make sure they didn't go after anyone that may be walking their dog at that time of night," said David Kelley.
The couple said it was their first time seeing coyotes around their home and are worried they may come back with an appetite.
"We have a lot of neighbors that have little dogs and some of them they keep in their backyard," said Kelley, who also owns a small dog.
Coyote sightings aren't uncommon in Florida. For the most part, officials say the medium-sized canines are shy and elusive, but most recently, a woman in Seffner had her finger chewed off by a coyote while she was trying to protect her pet Chihuahua. The coyote made off with the dog and left the woman with a painful injury.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife agency, coyotes are common all over the continental United States.
The website goes on to state that removing coyotes is an inefficient method to control populations since the species responds by reproducing at a younger age and producing more pups per litter.
Officials recommend the public learn to co-exist with the coyotes, by learning how to protect themselves and their pets.
High on the list of advice are not feeding coyotes, securing garbage cans, and keeping pets in enclosed areas or on a short leash when taken for a walk.