Dealing with the coyote influx in Sarasota County

03/25/13 Lauren Misa
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

Coyote sightings are being reported in neighborhoods throughout Florida. There’s a free informational workshop Monday night in Sarasota to inform the public on how to coexist with coyotes. Carrie Nelson is a wildlife specialist in Sarasota County.

"Coyotes are found throughout the state of Florida and we also have a presence of them in Sarasota County. People have been reporting coyotes in their neighborhoods a little bit more commonly lately and so we wanted to hold a workshop to educate the public on how to coexist."

What should someone do if they spot a coyote in the neighborhood?

"If you spot a coyote in the neighborhood just be aware of your surroundings. If you walk a dog during dusk or dawn hours or really any time of day just make sure that your dog is on a short leash. If you happen to run into a coyote and have a noisemaker such as a loud whistle or if you simply put pennies into a beverage container and simply shake it that will definitely deter a coyote. Also just be aware, if you have small children make sure that you always have your eyes on them and are watching them. To deter coyotes in your neighborhood it's important to secure all of your trash, make sure that you also aren't attracting animals that coyotes will consume so if you have bird feeders or feed other animals you might want to not do that as well because coyotes will come in search of prey. You also may, if you have cats, to not leave them outside all night."

Are coyotes dangerous to humans?

"There have not been any coyote attacks on humans. They do not target humans, per se. Generally coyotes are afraid of humans so to deter them, if you do run into them, yell, wave your arms, make any kind of loud noise you can and generally the coyotes will run off."

When and where is this workshop?

"The workshop will be held Monday evening, that's tonight, March 25th beginning at 6 PM and the location is 1001 Sarasota Center Blvd. It is at the Sarasota County Operations Building which is the Fruitville rd exit off of I-75 just a couple miles.. "

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