Residents be warned, keep your pets on a short leash and garbage tightly secured. A coyote may be roaming on Anna Maria Island.
Several Holmes Beach residents are reporting what may be a coyote on the Island, including Patty Spotts of Baronet Lane.
She saw the animal running down the middle of Key Royale Drive at 7:15 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, and described it as an “extremely large fox or small coyote” with “a carmel brown body and cocoa brown markings.”
On receiving a similar report from another resident, Holmes Beach police officers were dispatched at approximately 7 a.m. to the 6600 block of Marina Drive. Police, however, no animal was sighted at the scene.
A newspaper carrier recently sighted a coyote on the city’s 43rd Street during a home delivery route.
In the event of an encounter with coyote, county and state wildlife officials have recommended the following:
- Eliminate water and food sources. Coyotes, approximately the size of medium-sized collies, like raccoons, eat what they can find and go for the easiest food source.
- Scare off the coyote with a wave of the arms or a scream. If this does not work, officials warn the animal might be sick.
- Keep domestic pets indoors and on leashes, even cats.