Animal Services - Coyotes in Your Neighborhood

Have You Encountered a Coyote?

Recently Coconut Creek began to see an increase in coyote sightings throughout the city. Coming across a coyote in your neighborhood can be concerning but with the tricks, tips and information in this article we hope to create an environment where our Coconut Creek community can feel safe and secure.

The Importance of the Coyote

  • Coyotes can be identified as being approximately the size of a medium breed dog and having a tan or gray and white mixture fur coat. Coyotes closely resemble domesticated dogs in size but tend to be skinnier in comparison and have longer pointed muzzles.

  • Coyotes are known for their distinct howls that are characterized by high-pitched barks and yips.

  • Coyotes are commonly found in urban areas and suburbs due to their common diet of small mammals such as mice, rats and squirrels. Coyotes are an important aspect of keeping our rodent population controlled.

  • Coyotes are nocturnal and are most active during dusk and dawn hours.


Protecting Your Family and Pets

Coyotes are very timid and do not generally present any danger to humans, but during pupping season (April to August) female coyotes can become more protective and territorial over their young. If you come into contact with a coyote there are several ways to keep yourself and your family safe:

  1. STAND YOUR GROUND - If you find yourself face to face with a coyote the best form of defense is to make yourself seem as large as possible. Make sure to pick up small dogs and children, wave hand(s) overhead, and make loud noises to frighten coyotes. 
  2. LOUD NOISES - Shouting or screaming at the coyote can also help scare them away. The use of a car horn, air horn or whistle can also be helpful in scaring coyotes out of the area.
  3. THROWING OBJECTS - If the coyote does not back down, throwing any available object in its direction is the next step to defend yourself. Make sure that you do not back a coyote into a corner, if the coyote has no way to escape they may defend themselves. 
  4. PROTECTING PETS - The best way to protect your pets is to keep them indoors overnight as well as during dusk and dawn hours due to the rise in coyote activity during this time. Always walk your dogs on a leash that is 6 feet or shorter and avoid heavily wooded areas after dark. Accompany your dogs when they go outside in the yard at night and make sure that your backyard has appropriate lighting. 

Preventing Coyote from Moving Into Your Neighborhood

There are a few tips and tricks that all residents of Coconut Creek can use to prevent coyotes from moving into their neighborhood. By working together as a community, residents have the ability to maintain a coyote free neighborhood.

  1. The number one way to keep our neighborhoods coyote free is to limit the amount of food available. This can be done by securing trash cans, picking up cat food after feeding outdoor cats, and picking up fruits that are dropped from trees in your yard or neighborhood. Due to the rodent population being the number one food source for coyotes, handling all rodent issues in a timely fashion is especially necessary to keep the coyotes at bay. If you observe anyone directly feeding a coyote it is important to report this issue to the Police Non-Emergency line listed below. People who are feeding the coyote decrease their natural fear of humans, which can lead to attacks in the future.
  2. Another way to deter coyotes from moving into your neighborhood is to keep all the bushes and landscaping neat and  well maintained. Coyotes look for areas to conceal themselves in overgrown vegetation during daylight hours, so by taking these areas away, coyotes are more likely to move into better habitats.
  3. Installing motion detecting lights in your front and backyard areas will also help deter coyotes from coming close to your home. Coyotes are easily startled by bright lights and noise, so adding lighting to the exterior portion of your home may keep them at bay.

Reporting an Issue

There are several ways to report coyote related concerns, depending on the severity of the threat. Please read through the options below so that appropriate actions can be taken to remedy the situation:

  1. If there is an immediate threat to the life of a resident dial 911 immediately.
  2. If there is an issue where the coyote is trapped or someone is feeding them, call (954) 973-6700 to reach the Police Department’s non-emergency line.
  3. If you would like to report a coyote that does not seem to fear humans, call (954) 746-1789 to report the concern with Fish & Wildlife (FWC).