ORMOND BEACH, Fla. – Several residents have reported seeing coyotes in Ormond Beach lately, prompting city officials Thursday to remind the community about essential safety tips.
Coyotes are known to dwell in every part of Florida. They can pose a danger to people and pets who are not aware of how to protect themselves.
The Ormond Beach Police Department says citizens should not approach coyotes and they should keep an eye on their smaller pets.
Anyone who has a problem with coyotes should contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Wildlife Alert at 888-404-FWCC (3922).
Below are some tips provided by News 6 partner Florida Today on living with coyotes.
Do not feed coyotes
Residents are urged to never feed coyotes. The FWC said never put food outside to attract wildlife and to clean up pet food, fallen fruit and seed around bird feeders.
Coyotes are opportunistic feeders and will be drawn to and eat all of these potential food sources, the FWC said.
Do everything you can to secure garbage cans and compost areas. Close off crawl spaces under porches and sheds to prevent coyotes and other animals from resting or raising their young in areas around your home.
If you see a coyote what should you do
Coyotes are not large animals and rarely pose a threat to people, especially adults. They can be curious but are also timid and generally run away if challenged, the FWC said.
If a coyote approaches too closely, making loud noises and acting aggressively will typically cause a coyote to leave an area.
How to 'haze' coyotes
Hazing refers to disturbing an animal's sense of security to such an extent that it leaves a particular area, FWC said. The agency offered several suggestions to get coyotes to move from a particular area:
Waving your arms in the air and yelling will usually get a coyote to retreat, unless there is a den with pups nearby. You may need to move toward the coyote and increase hazing if the animal does not immediately run away.
Noisemakers are often effective deterrents to coyotes, including air horns, banging pots and pans and homemade noisemakers.
Throwing small stones or sticks toward (but not at) a coyote will usually cause the animal to leave.
Spraying water from a hose or using bear repellent can also be effective hazing methods. Do not attempt to hurt the coyote because injured animals are more likely to defend themselves.
Vary your methods of hazing so that the coyote does not become desensitized.
If a coyote approaches a child, an adult should first yell loudly to startle the coyote and then move toward the coyote. This gives the adult an opportunity to lift the child as quickly as possible and back away. Do not run from a coyote, as this may cause the animal to give chase.
Teach children to recognize coyotes. If children are approached by a coyote, have them move slowly inside and yell loudly — teach them not to run, approach or feed coyotes.