By Bryan Boggiano
The Coconut Creek Police Department is giving free coyote whistles to keep residents and pets safe.
When a resident encounters a coyote, they can blow the whistle to scare them away.
To pick one up, residents can visit the police department at 4800 West Copans Road.
All they need to do is go to the lobby, ring the doorbell, and ask the telecommunications staff for a whistle.
The lobby is open 24/7.
According to Scotty Leamon, the police department’s public information officer, the department has been giving the whistles away at events for the past few years.
The giveaway also follows elevated coyote sightings and encounters throughout the city.
In March, police spoke out after sightings in Township Estates.
At the time, they said coyotes are timid and pose no danger to humans. But during their mating season, between April and August, females can become territorial and protective of their young.
While they eat small mammals such as mice, rats, squirrels, and other rodents, they can also be dangerous to pets such as dogs and cats.
On Facebook, residents reported sighting coyotes around Hilton Road, Granada Village Condominiums, Indigo Lakes, and Winston Park Preserve.
One resident, Vanessa Vidal, said her sister’s dog chased after a coyote only to get chased by a larger one. The incident happened in Whispering Trails. The dog was uninjured.
“She luckily scared them off, but it was close,” she said.
In Winston Park, Mary McClintock said a coyote attacked and killed an outdoor 10-year-old cat that her friend and their neighbors took care of.
She wrote on Facebook that the neighborhood started caring for the cat after her owners moved in 2021.
They found the deceased cat’s head in a neighbor’s yard.
In March, the police department gave a few tips for residents. These include:
- Keep small dogs on a short leash and look after them when they’re outside, especially at night. Coyotes are nocturnal and are most active during dusk and dawn hours.
- Don’t leave trash or pet food outside.
- Pick up all fallen fruit.
- If a coyote comes around, it can be left alone or scared away by waving one’s arms and yelling. Noisemakers, like an airhorn, are also effective.
- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master's. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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