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Coyotes Spotted Near Gulfport School

A resident spotted coyotes near a Gulfport school during the early morning hours.

Special thanks to Gulfport resident Lori East for posting a "Coyote Alert" in our "Announcements" section of Gulfport Patch.

Lori East stated she saw two very large coyotes at the end of a cul-de-sac on York St. S. around 6 a.m. Monday morning. In the "Coyote Alert" East posted:

"This was pretty scary as they panicked realizing they were trapped on the other side of Gulfport Elementry's fence. One of them scurried by to the Greenway, while the other wasn't too concerned there was a human watching every move they made."

Gulfport Patch checked with the Gulfport Police Department and they had not heard of any specific encounters in town. They are aware that coyotes have made Pinellas County their home and have been spotted in Gulfport.

Gulfport resident Julie McNichol contacted Gulfport Patch, via email, following East's post on Tuesday and said she had seen coyotes near Clam Bayou, 45th St. S. and 27th Ave S. the past six weeks.

If you see coyotes, you can report the sighting online to Pinellas County.

What should you do?

If you spot a coyote and want to report the sighting you can contact Pinellas County Animal Services at 727-582-2600.

Pinellas County Officials have some tips, listed on their website, on how to deter coyote presence in your neighborhood.

  • Never leave pet food or trash outside where it will attract wildlife.
  • Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings. This reduces cover for coyotes and their prey, such as rodents and other small animals.
  • Protect children. Although rare, coyotes have been known to seriously injure children. Do not leave young children unattended, even in a backyard.
  • Protect pets and livestock. These are favorite prey for coyotes. Keep pets indoors, especially at night. When not indoors, keep dogs and cats leashed at all times. There is a Pinellas County Ordinance that prohibits dogs or cats from roaming freely.
  • Avoid walking dogs during dawn or dusk hours, which are coyotes’ normal feeding times (Note: You may see a Coyote anytime if it is rabid). Avoid using a retractable leash. Coyotes will notice a dog walked frequently on an extended leash. The coyote will come back, grab the dog, and leave the owner holding an empty leash. When walking a pet, carry a stick, whistle or air horn.
  • Use negative reinforcement. Make sure the coyotes know that they are not welcome. Make loud noises, throw rocks in their direction or spray with a garden hose.

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david hastings November 28, 2012 at 02:12 PM
We in PYCC started seeing them again about 2 or 3 months ago. A large female has had 4 or 5 pups and they are still traveling together. Our experience with them is that they move into an area and exhaust their food supply and then move on. We have not experienced any agressive behavior but they also don't seemed to shy around humans.
Nettle Greenman November 28, 2012 at 05:08 PM
These especially large coyotes might be wolf hybrids that have been working their way west and south. Not that they are direct crosses; but enough interbreeding occurred where they share range so that scientists are seeing wolf DNA in some coyotes. We see them a lot in Seattle, where I'm from...in Seattle, they are not very shy of people and there have been some incidents of approaching children. (I know the wolf thing sounds like Internet craziness, but google.) One day last summer, we came home to find a huge coyote lolling casually on our lawn in south Pasadena.
Cherlene Willis November 28, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Thanks so much David for sharing your experiences with the coyotes. If you have any photos - feel free to upload them to this story. - Cherlene
Cherlene Willis November 28, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Oh my! Again, if you have any photos Nettle, I'm sure people would love to see them. I'm curious to see of people are able to capture pictures of the same group of coyotes in Gulfport? This is definitely a hot topic. Thanks for sharing your experience and joining the conversation - Cherlene
david hastings November 28, 2012 at 06:58 PM
This is PYCC's 3rd "visit" by coyotes spanning over a 2 year period. They come, eat until they prey is exhausted and then move on. We have never had a problem other than my cat being eaten but that was before we knew they were around. We see them during the day even though they are supossed to be nocturnal. The first visit we did seek to get rid of them but after talking to many that had tried unsuccessfully and after finding out that they can not be legally relocated but must be killed, we gave up. Again, we have had no adverse encounters.
Trace Taylor November 28, 2012 at 07:01 PM
Coyote eat rats. how very cool that we are lucky enough to have them here for a while. In Texas and Louisiana, we saw them often and they would venture into housing areas. The only issue with them was that small cats and dogs would often disappear if left out unattended. Even coyote have to eat. and pets left out unattended to fend for them selves are fair game. They are amazing survivalists and I have never had a negative encounter nor heard of a negative encounter between coyote and human, so long as the human remembered to respect the coyote. I love living in this town that still retains a little of the wild. We are so fortunate.
Cherlene Willis November 28, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Thanks David for keeping us posted! - Cherlene
CJ November 28, 2012 at 08:22 PM
I wish they had showed up at this restaurant we were eating at Saturday night that had a table in it with about 3 families and what looked to be about 3 two year olds throwing a non-stop temper tantrum all at the same time, for about half an hour. Yeah..it was a lot of fun.
CJ November 30, 2012 at 06:46 AM
it doesn't sound like your cat was very popular...lol
Inrchld November 30, 2012 at 06:47 PM
I've seen them at morning and late evening twilight in Ted Phillips Park several times over the past month and my daughter saw one actually stand up against the chain link fence to our yard in the wee morning hours.

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