POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – A neighborhood cat went missing, and shop owners know why — he was killed by coyotes in Pompano Beach.
The cat was a shop cat, affectionately known as “Big Guy.” He was the neighborhood cat that greeted Charles Camacho and his co-workers every day, and he had been showing up to their shop in Pompano Beach for years.
“Monday morning rolled around, by nine o’clock we found out he wasn’t there, and we thought it was kind of strange,” explained Camacho.
“Tuesday rolled around, and we were like, ‘No Big Guy.’ So, we started looking at the cameras...” he said.
Unfortunately, they soon discovered that he had passed away, and what the owners of the shop saw on their surveillance footage was horrifying.
On surveillance video, they saw two very large coyotes on the prowl.
In the end of the video, you can see one of the coyotes dragging an animal back in its mouth, assumably the poor cat.
“You can tell that these coyotes have done this before, and they worked as a team, the communication between the both of them, and the way they circled around him, and one came from the front,” said Camacho.
For months now, there’s been an uptick in coyote sightings across Broward, Kendall, and even the Florida Keys.
Unfortunately, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), coyotes aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Now, they’re warning pet owners to be aware, and to keep an eye out. Plus to practice hazing.
Coyotes are highly adaptable, but often won’t take on a threat. Coyotes can even swim, and are fairly strong swimmers.
“Its impressive to know and also concerning to know that these coyotes are there, and people need to be aware if they are walking their dogs or letting their cats out at night,” said Camacho.
A spokesperson for the FWC said there is no need to report coyote sightings unless you see a coyote exhibiting “unusual behavior or acting aggressively.” In that case, report the sighting to your local regional FWC office.
According to the FWC, coyotes are found in all 67 counties in Florida and prey on smaller animals, which can be concerning for those with dogs or cats.
Below are some tips from the FWC on how to prevent coyote interactions with pets:
- Pets should not roam freely. Cats should be kept indoors and small dogs should be walked on a short leash.
- People should use caution when walking pets in wooded areas or near heavy foliage, as these are areas where coyotes could den or nest.
- If pets are kept in a fenced area outside, the fence should be high enough (about 6 feet) so that coyotes cannot jump over and the bottom of the fence should be checked regularly to ensure that coyotes cannot crawl underneath.
- Avoid conflicts by removing potential coyote (and other wildlife) attractants from around your home. Secure garbage cans, don’t leave pet food outside, clean up fallen fruit, and secure livestock in predator-resistant enclosures.