Residents in a neighborhood off Beach Drive are concerned about coyotes in the community.
One resident, Pat Quirk, said his family and neighbors have had more than a dozen coyote sightings and several pets go missing in the last few weeks.
“We personally have lost two cats, we’ve seen several within the past week up at the walking trail up by the dog park here on Balboa, my wife saw them at the next door neighbors’ house, my neighbors have had them standing in their front yard before,” he said.
One of Quirk’s neighbors called Bay County Animal Services, who directed him to contact Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC).
However, Bekah Nelson, the Public Information Coordinator at FWC, said they will not remove the coyotes.
“Definitely call our office and report those things and we’ll provide technical assistance,” she said. “As far as removing coyotes, it tends to not be as effective. If you were to remove a coyote from an area generally another one could come into that area or those coyotes could increase their litter size.”
Quirk said that many residents are getting frustrated that they are running out of options.
“I’m really puzzled by it all — I don’t really understand what our tax dollars are paying for, if we can’t get protection from these coyotes from I would think that it would be FWC or animal control. But they don’t seem to be really interested in helping,” he said.
FWC suggested removing trash or pet food from outside and putting pets indoors to prevent coyotes, but residents fear that the problem will only get worse.
“It’s only a matter of time before we lose more pets which they’re like family to all of us any animal lover knows that and how long before a small child gets attacked or something we’ve got a lot of small children playing in our neighborhood,” Quirk said.
Panama City Police told one resident that they would add extra patrol for the area.