PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The city of Port St. Lucie posted on social media Wednesday that coyotes have been spotted around the city.
Mating season for coyotes runs through March, and according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, they’ve been documented in every county of the state.
Last week, a photograph made the rounds on social media of a coyote that had been shot and left on top of a dumpster in Martin County.
While coyotes are not protected under Florida law, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said shooting at animals is very risky.
“To shoot a coyote in a residential neighborhood risks several things, injury to an uninvolved person in the neighborhood,” Snyder said. “You also risk a civil liability and criminal liability for discharging a firearm in a residential neighborhood.”
A representative of Busch Wildlife Sanctuary told WPTV that humans often make it easier for coyotes to adapt to a more urban environment by leaving garbage cans unsecured and bird feeders out.
Coyotes are most active at dawn and dusk, and if you do find yourself face to face with one, you can make a loud noise to scare it off.