Walkers beware: They are out there.
Wildlife officials keep telling us: They’re everywhere in Florida — coyotes, and we should get used to it and take precautions.
Not to be alarmist or sensational about it, but in part for the benefit of our new snowbird arrivals and everyone, it’s worth noting an excerpt to a news report last week in our sister paper, the East County Observer:
Like any other night, Julie Young picked up her 2-pound Chihuahua, Pumpkin, and carried her outside her lanai Jan. 20 so the dog could relieve herself.
Young sat Pumpkin down on the grass, just inches past the edge of her concrete patio.
The sliding glass door to the Central Park home was left open as Young waited for Pumpkin to finish. The two turned around together to go back inside.
But they didn’t know a coyote was watching.
“(Pumpkin) was literally at my feet,” Young said. “As we turned to come in a foot from the door, the coyote came from the side bushes.”
It grabbed Pumpkin before Young realized what was happening.
“I could have petted that coyote if I’d had reached for it,” she said.
Pumpkin was gone. Young spent much of the night crying, but wants the incident to help others be more aware of their surroundings.
We haven’t heard of coyote sightings on Longboat Key for about a month. But that doesn’t mean the critter(s) isn’t stalking.
When we saw a woman walking her two small dogs on the Harbourside Golf Course last week, it was a wincing scene. She and her pooches looked like easy prey.