Coyotes on the prowl in Jupiter? Several sightings in past two weeks

Residents concerned for their pets

JUPITER, Fla. - Pet owners in the Egret Landing neighborhood of Jupiter off Central Boulevard say they've seen a coyote lurking about over the past two weeks.

No one has been able to get a picture of the animal but the reason why there's added concern here, is because a few years ago there were a handful of dogs attacked there and in neighboring Abacoa.

For Jodylynne Rowswell, the sound of her air horn is the sound of safety.

Last week, she says she saw a coyote while out walking.

"It looks like a large dog with a fox face and it has a funny prance to it," said Rowswell.

Barbara Bassoff's worried about the curious nature of Brandy, her Tibetan Terrier.

"She will go after toads, squirrels, anything moving," said Bassoff.

"You don't want to walk over and touch a coyote.  The chances of you getting that close though is almost impossible," said David Hitzig, Executive Director of the Busch Wildlife Sancutary.

The sanctuary is only a few miles away from the Egret Landing neighborhood.  There are no coyotes, but a number of grey foxes, who also sometimes turn up in area yards.

"Use caution like we do every day, but don't panic over the fact that you have a coyote in your backyard," said Hitzig.

Hitzig says coyotes live in every Florida county.

He adds they're not usually very big and don't often pose a threat to people.

Still, he says, use common sense.

"There is always a chance of a predator causing injury to a domestic animal, especially if they're left out unattended," Hitzig added.

The property managers sent a mass email out to all the homeowners this week alerting them to the situation and linking to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for tips.

If you have concerns, you can call the FWC at 561-625-5122.

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