Tamarac residents frightened after several coyote sightings, dog killed

TAMARAC. FLA. (WSVN) - A group of coyotes has caused concern for residents in a Tamarac community after they attacked and killed a neighborhood pet.

Normally, coyotes are skittish when it comes to interacting with humans, but residents at the Pines at Woodmont said the pack there is bold and aggressive.

Alan Moreno’s dog Bo was snatched and killed by a wild coyote feet from his back porch.

“The coyote comes and runs this way, grabs him by the neck and drags him out,” Moreno said. “It’s like I wasn’t even there. There’s something out there that doesn’t care if I’m there, and if I have something small enough where they can devour, my presence doesn’t mean much.”

The incident happened last week inside the community, one of several developments that surround the Woodmont Country Club golf course.

“The first night was the hardest because my little one, my daughter Abigail, she’s 3, so she’s only slept with him at night,” Moreno said. “She slept on my chest until she fell asleep.”

Though Bo was the pet attacked by the coyote, at least five residents in the community said they have had close calls with the wild animals.

“My wife is having nightmares from it,” Nick Capdevielle said. “I just was outside walking with my son, and I had to have my pistol at my side because she says, ‘There’s no way you’re going to go out there without that thing and not be able to protect our children.'”

“I’m afraid,” Carol Mendelson said. “I can’t even walk in my own development.”

The encounters are growing and so is the fear. The coyotes could be heard howling during the night, seen darting across parking lots and were caught on cellphone video on Sunday.

“I’ve stopped my early morning walks,” Elissa Brown, who spotted one of the coyotes, said. “I put the dog down, and I looked to my right, and a coyote is just sitting there watching us. I picked up the dog, and the coyote ran towards me. I went out in front by my mailbox under a street light, put the dog down, looked over towards the other side, and the coyote was sitting there.”

“I don’t want to see anything bad happen to anyone’s children, and that’s what I fear the most,” Capdevielle said.

They also do not want another family to say goodbye to their pet.

“Our dog, we’re trying to see him as a hero because he’s alerting the whole neighborhood that there’s a danger here,” Moreno said.

Another coyote was spotted outside a home in Coconut Creek.

Wildlife experts said if people come in contact with a wild coyote, do not run away. Instead, project themselves as bigger than they are, make noise and they will most likely run away.

“The worst thing you can do is turn and run. Never do that,” Zoo Miami Director Ron Magill said. “Put your hands up high, make yourself known, speak firmly, ‘Hey guys! Hey coyote! Hey coyote!’ I can almost promise you that coyote is going to run away.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they are aware of the situation, and they are asking residents to continue reporting any additional sightings.

City officials said they’re working on bringing everyone involved in the situation together to make sure they have a solution to keep the neighborhood safe.

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