Recent coyote sightings prompt FWC meeting in Longboat Key

Following recent coyote sightings in Longboat Key, the town is hosting a public workshop with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials to educate residents about the animals.

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. — They can be scary to encounter and could pose a threat to your pets.

People are spotting more and more coyotes in communities across the Tampa Bay area lately. In Longboat Key, it’s become so common in recent weeks that officials are holding a public meeting about it Thursday afternoon.

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The meeting is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Longboat Key town hall building, 501 Bay Isles Road.

A news release from the town said that in conjunction with experts from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, attendees will hear a presentation on the following:

  • What to do if you see a coyote
  • How to protect yourself and pets from them
  • How to prevent problems with coyotes
  • How to limit attracting coyotes to properties
  • Nuisance coyotes in neighborhoods

Frequently asked questions, and those from the crowd, will also be answered.

A coyote was spotted roaming through Longboat Key Golf Club earlier in August.

Jave Guevara captured video of the coyote in Longboat Key and posted it to Facebook.

It's unclear if there is just one coyote that's been spotted several different times or if multiple coyotes are now in the area.

But a recent uptick in coyote sightings isn't just limited to Longboat.

►PREVIOUS: Coyote sightings increasing across St. Pete

We've gotten reports up and down the coast from Venice, to St. Pete to New Port Richey of coyotes being spotted in backyards, the middle of the street and even strolling along railroad tracks.

In 2016, a dog in the Westchase area of Tampa was reportedly attacked by a coyote.

Pinellas County officials launched an online tracking map for people to report sightings.

In March, a reported sighting in Holmes Beach had neighbors taking notice and police issuing a warning on social media.

Coyotes usually are not a threat to humans, according to FWC, which has an entire section of its website dedicated to information about what to do if you encounter one — like wave your arms and yell — along with what to do to keep them away — like not keeping food out or your pets out without keeping an eye on them.

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