In Lake County, Florida, some strange animal killings have been occurring. Is the source of the horse attacks merely coyotes, or is there something deeper to this? And will the most effective solution, the reintroduction of wolves, be the one of choice in the Sunshine State?
And ask yourself, why are eyewitnesses taken as reliable in their descriptions in this case, but not when the cause is said to be panthers?
Here’s what WFTV has to say:
Coyotes have been attacking pets and have killed a miniature horse near Shirley Shores in Lake County.
Coyotes repopulate quickly and are also resourceful. They’ve been known to climb through fencing to reach what they like best, easy prey.
Residents like Barbara Iles, who lives off CR-448, told WFTV they’re a problem. A few months ago, a coyote killed her miniature stallion named Rags.
“He was chased into the barn and they actually went into the barn,” Iles said.
She didn’t see the coyotes that attacked Rags, but she believes they jumped the 5-foot fence just to get to him.
“I wish someone could try to take the initiative to eliminate them or lessen the population,” she said.
Coyotes are no simple problem. Neither Lake County Animal Services nor Florida Fish and Wildlife trap coyotes, which have become a common nuisance around Central Florida.
Homeowners do have a right to shoot the animals on their property. But even if they shot 70 percent of a coyote population, the animals would probably recover.
One wildlife expert told WFTV discouraging the animals might be the better option.
Iles has secured her animals. Her neighbors have made changes too.
“See the teeth marks, they ripped it off the side to get to the cat,” resident Tia Albert said.
Coyotes didn’t get Albert’s cat, but they did eat a few chickens.
“We got rid of the chickens, it like draws them in,” she said.
Albert also got a Doberman pincher. She hasn’t seen a coyote since.
But neighbors still hear them.
“You hear them baying which is scary, because you don’t know how close they are,” Iles said.
Lake County’s Animal Services director told WFTV that several years ago staff did put out traps in an attempt to catch coyotes. But not one coyote was ever trapped.