Southwest Ranches residents speak out on coyote encounters amid safety warning

SOUTHWEST RANCHES, FLA. (WSVN) - Two Southwest Ranches residents are speaking out about their encounter with coyotes seen roaming through their neighborhood, prompting officials to issue a warning.

Tonia Drago spoke to 7News Thursday night, hours after she snapped a picture of the canine.

“This was at like 9:30 in the morning, and he was right there,” she said, as she showed the photo to a 7News crew.

Drago, who lives off Southwest 199th Avenue and Stirling Road, said she saw the creature while she was out walking with a friend.

“It’s very scary because he’s big,” she said.

The animal got so close to Drago that she was able to snap a photo before running away.

“He got up, and he saw us, and we were like, me and my friend, were scared to death,” she said. “We started backing up.”

Area resident Teresa Rogero said she also spotted a coyote.

“He was laying right over there,” she said.

Rogero said the coyote hopped her fence and killed her cat.

​”It was horrifying to see two pieces of a cat that was left and flies all over it,” she said. “It was sad.”

A video that was taken a few months ago showed a coyote running. City officials tweeted it out again Thursday to warn residents about the danger.

The tweet said, “Residents: We’re aware coyotes have been sighted town-wide over the past several days. Please take precautions to secure your animals, especially at night. Do not approach a coyote if spotted. Animal control, or [Florida Fish and Wildlife] will not respond. You may hire a trapper at your own expense.”

Despite their continued fear, neighbors said they’re hoping for a peaceful resolution.

“It’s an animal. I don’t want him to die, but if it’s between him and a child, someone’s gonna take action against him,” said Drago.

Officials urge residents to hire a company to try catch it if the coyote remains in the neighborhood.

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