Coyote sightings raise concerns in Broward cities

POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents of a South Florida neighborhood are speaking out, Tuesday, after an increase in coyote sightings have raised safety concerns.

Residents said they have spotted the predators, shown in photographs standing next to a chain-link fence, very close to their homes in the neighborhood, which covers parts of Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach.

“I thought it was a small dog at first, but its movements were unusual,” said Pompano Beach resident Ray Barberino.

Deerfield Beach resident Linda Trotter has certainly heard the animals. “Loud. Loud, loud, loud. Howling, screaming kind of thing,” she said.

Residents said they saw coyotes grazing the old Tam O’Shanter golf course, which hugs both Pompano Beach and Deerfield Beach.

“[There are] at least three or four that I know of,” said resident Keith McMillan. “Personally, I like them, because it keeps the critters down.”

“They come through here, too, on these maintenance gates,” said resident Mike Fleinek, who said a few of his cats have gone missing.

Fleinek said it’s only a matter of time before the coyotes create a serious problem. “You get too many of them in such a small area, and they start packing up, and they start mauling people’s pets,” he said. “With little kids out playing, you never know.”

Fleinek said coyotes don’t belong in this residential area, and he wants the city to take action. “They come here at night, and we listen to them howling over here when they hear a siren off in the distance,” he said. “It sounds like a kennel over there.”

Other residents, however, said the coyotes have kept raccoons at bay, and they do not pose a threat. “Trust me, I’ve seen everything, and they don’t bother you at all,” said McMillan.

“They did actually sort of disappear for quite a long, long time, but then they’ve been back, last year, year and a half,” said Trotter.

Asked whether she’s concerned about the animals, Trotter replied, “I’m not worried at all, and they don’t bother me. They’ve got to have somewhere to live, too. We’ve sort of encroached upon their areas.”

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, coyotes are becoming more popular in South Florida. They do not have any reports of coyotes attacking humans.

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