Coyote spotted roaming Longboat Key

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The Longboat Key community is on edge as a coyote has been spotted roaming several times.

Residents are worried it may become aggressive but Longboat Key officers say there's nothing to fear.

A coyote is not what you expect on a perfectly manicured golf course, but a photo taken at the Longboat Key Golf Club shows a coyote strolling through on a hot August day.

 “We don’t know about coyotes in England!” Longboat Key resident Paula Steptoe said. “I saw something run across and thought it might be a raccoon but as we got closer it was a coyote again.”

Steptoe says she’s seen the wild canine a couple of times in recent weeks.

Residents are sharing pictures of the coyote’s travels. Many wonder whether it plans to stay.

“Now I’m sort of concerned, we walk the dog late at night,” Paula said.

Her dog Alphie, a golden retriever, likes long walks around his neighborhood, but Steptoe is worried about an unpleasant encounter.

“They’re dogs, at the end of the day. They’re wild dogs aren’t they?”

The Longboat Key Police Department Chief Pete Cumming says there’s likely only one coyote.

Wildlife experts don’t recommend trapping the animal because it might get hurt in the process. Instead, FWC has scheduled a workshop on August 30 to educate residents on how to live in harmony with a coyote.

Residents are skeptical.

“I think here is just not the place for an animal that, at the end of the day, can kill domestic small dogs and cats and little kids,” Steptoe said.

According to FWC, coyotes rarely pose a threat to people and generally run away if challenged.

So far, this coastal canine seems to have kept to himself, exploring the key and perhaps considering to call it home.