Coyotes attacking pets in Bay area

Call it growing pains. Development is pushing coyotes into urban areas, and they're not only becoming a nuisance, but also dangerously aggressive.

Residents in Hernando, Pasco and Pinellas counties have reported coyotes are stalking their pets in broad daylight, and dozens of cats have mysteriously disappeared.

Dave Lueck is a professional trapper. His phone is ringing off the hook.

"Most of the customers I've talked to don't even see it happen. They feel a tug on the leash, they hear a yelp, and the dog is gone," said Lueck.

Online, Pinellas County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are warning of the danger. Coyotes have been traveling along the Pinellas Trail, roaming the green spaces along highways, and have even raided the concession stand at Bright House Field.

MAP: See the locations of coyote sightings

Wildlife expert Vernon Yates says aggression toward them isn't smart. Coyotes are breeding and will protect themselves.

"If you agitate a mom who has babies, she will do like any other mother and protect her babies. So you're going to make a problem," said Yates.

GET HELP WITH COYOTES: Where to get assistance

So the best advice comes from the experts: Don't invite coyotes into your world.

"You don't leave cat food, dog food out. Coyotes are scavengers, they eat the dirt on the ground to fruits, berries, reptiles, small mammals, birds, they'll eat anything," said Yates.


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