Coyote shot after being spotted at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
Airport officials believe coyote has been coming on property to hunt
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A coyote was shot Wednesday morning after it was spotted at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Sky 10 was above the south side of the airport near Perimeter Road at 8:45 a.m. as the animal could be seen on the inside of a fence near the tarmac.
An airport representative said the airport employs a licensed animal control specialist full-time, who is equipped to handle wild animals on the property.
Employees in SUVs followed the animal on airport property as they attempted to capture it. The coyote evaded security for a while, and, at one point, ran on the taxi-way for a few seconds until security was able to chase it back onto the grass.
The animal was eventually cornered and fatally shot.
"It's not our first choice," FLL spokesman Greg Meyer said. "We want to make sure that this wildlife does not interfere with the safe operation of the airport."
Airport managers said they believe the same coyote has been burrowing underneath the fences, trying to use the open space of the airport for hunting.
Meyer said they've been trying to deter the coyote over the past few days from coming in by filling in the holes where it burrowed under the fence, but it just kept coming back.
When asked why they didn't use a tranquilizer, Meyer said they couldn't chance a partially sedated animal running onto a runway, causing even more of a safety hazard.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, coyotes rarely pose a threat to people. Wildlife officials said the animals can be curious, "but are also timid and generally run away in challenged."
Coyotes are found throughout the state, and encounters between people and coyotes in Florida are occurring more often, the FWC states on its website.
People are advised to never feed coyotes, secure garbage cans and compost in animal-proof containers and close off crawl spaces under porches and sheds to prevent coyotes and other animals from resting or raising their young around your home.
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