ORLANDO, Fla. — Residents in the College Park community near downtown Orlando will meet with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Tuesday night to express their concerns about coyotes.
- College Park residents to meet with FWC about coyote concerns
- Several residents blame coyotes for killing pets in the area
- Meeting at College Park Community Center at 6 p.m. Tuesday night
- Learn more about Florida's coyotes here
- Get more Orange County coverage
Several residents blame coyotes for killings pets in the area over the past several weeks.
The Overtons say their daughters loved Ollie Cat, or “OC.”
“The girls wouldn’t want to go to sleep at night, and we would just plunk OC on with them on the bed, and he would purr them to sleep,” Melanie Overton said.
So it wasn't easy when Overton had to tell her girls that a coyote attacked and killed OC.
“We found him, and it hit home,” Overton said. “It’s their pet. It’s like their first brush with death.”
One of the Overtons' College Park neighbors captured a video Sunday of a coyote sniffing around his backyard. The post is part of dozens of messages posted online, as well as signs in front yards, as neighbors warn others about the wild canines.
FWC says it's received 19 coyote calls in the past year from the neighborhood just north of downtown Orlando. All but one of those calls happened in the past six months.
The Overtons are now trying to fight back and protect their family.
“So if it’s my husband getting up at four in the morning and sitting outside with his .22 and seeing them cross the sidewalk or come into our property, it needs to happen,” Overton said.
They think local government and wildlife officials should do something about the problem.
An Orange County spokesperson said it's FWC’s jurisdiction. FWC says taking coyotes doesn’t do anything, because more coyotes just move back into areas where they’re removed.
“If I only knew what I know now, I would’ve grabbed both cats and just kept them in,” Overton said. "You just don’t think it’s going to happen to you, and it does, and it can.”
FWC has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday night for College Park residents to address issues with coyotes. The meeting will be at the College Park Community Center beginning at 6 p.m.
You can report incidents to state wildlife officers by calling the FWC regional office nearest to you or by calling 1-888-404-3922.