CARROLLWOOD, Fla. - People living in one local neighborhood say coyotes have become far too common. They say some of the animals have come dangerously close to their homes. Now, Hillsborough County Commissioners are taking action to help with the wild animal problems.
Ralph Campbell lives in Carrollwood. He says he hasn't seen them, but he sure can hear something. "I've heard some howling from time to time in the grove next door."
Those unnerving sounds, he says, are from coyotes in the area. Campbell has lived in the neighborhood for around 40 years, and tells us it's not uncommon to hear neighbors talking about coming in contact with the animals.
One man, he said, recently killed a coyote in his yard. Campbell said, "I came out to my front door and my neighbor came running over and said, 'Hey, Ralph, did I get your attention?' And he said 'I shot a coyote.' I said 'Great.'"
Now, commissioners are taking action to help with animal problems after a wild hog was spotted in January at a Home Depot in New Tampa.
Commissioners say Hillsborough County Animal Services is stretched too thin. They are hoping to get some help from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to handle all the calls.
Commissioner Ken Hagen said, "Find out how bad of a problem is this. Get the information. See what we can do to, at a minimum, educate our citizens on the issue. What they can do to protect themselves."
Wildlife officials say if you do see a coyote, try to frighten them by using a noise or other things to drive home their fear of humans. Also, keep pets and food inside.
County staff are expected to report back to commissioners with a plan of action in 30 days.
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