Coyote threatens Zoo Miami animals

Motion-activated camera shows coyote on zoo property

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MIAMI - A coyote is trying to sneak into Zoo Miami's collection of wildlife to find food, zoo officials say.

A motion-activated surveillance camera captured images of the coyote on zoo property in January.

So far, zoo keepers say the male coyote seems to be targeting mice and other wild creatures outside of the zoo's gates. Zoo workers say they're keeping a close eye on fences, especially those that border the aviary, where the coyote could find plenty of animals to eat.

Zoo Miami spokesman Ron Magill said zoo workers aren't as concerned about the coyote's eating habits as much as they are by what diseases he might have.

"There is always the threat of the transmission of disease and parasites because this guy could be carrying things that could be transmitted to our collection," said Magill. "We go through extreme measures to quarantine our animals to make sure they aren't passing anything on, and when you have an animal come in off grounds that could be carrying something, that's out of our control."

A Local 10 report in November warned residents about coyotes migrating to South Florida. Home video shows one of several coyotes stalking small pets in the Woodlands golf community in Tamarac.

Magill said homeowners should keep their garage secure and their cats and small dogs inside.

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