'St. Pete has officially gone to the coyotes'

It was just hours after FOX 13 published a story about coyotes in St. Pete when our own Mark Wilson encountered one running through a neighborhood.

Mark recorded video of the animal sauntering along the sidewalks, pausing occasionally to look around.

"St. Pete has officially gone to the coyotes. This is out of control," Mark wrote in a Facebook post about the video.  "I just chased him across 38th Avenue into Allendale. Look how healthy he is. Keep your cats and small dogs indoors."

That sentiment was echoed by Snell Isle resident Steve Ritch when we talked to him last week.

"I can't walk my dog or go in the neighborhood without neighbors stopping me and telling me their most recent coyote story," he said.

A spokesman for Florida's Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission warned resident not to leave food or garbage outside.

"I can tell you coyote sightings throughout Pinellas County are common," Gary Morse said.  "Coyotes are  common throughout the United States, particularly in urban areas where populations tend to be three to five times higher than rural areas because there's more food there."

If you need to report a coyote sighting in Pinellas County, click here.