Coyote That Attacked Dogs in West Boca Has Been Captured and Euthanized

Looks like the West Boca coyote problem has been solved, for now. The coyote that had attacked two dogs in the area last week was caught and euthanized on Sunday. According to multiple reports, trappers have been working on capturing the coyote, who had been wandering the area near the homes in the 22500 block of Vistawood Way, for days. Several traps had been set, laden with food and urine to lure the animal.

Paul Zambrano, who had been hired to catch the coyote prowling the Timberwalk Community, says the animal was a full grown adult, weighing in between 20 to 30 pounds. Officials also said the coyote looked malnourished and ill, and was probably being fed by a resident in the area, which made the animal unafraid of humans.

Last week, the coyotes attacked and injured two dogs. One of them, a four-year-old Yorkie mix, was killed. The attacks caused fear throughout the community, and people began carrying bats and other weapons as they walked their pets. Residents reported seeing the coyote for months.

Palm Beach Animal Care and Control, who confirmed the captured coyote was euthanized, says the animal matched the description of the one that attacked the dogs. They also say there are other coyotes in the area, but aren’t sure if they’re as aggressive as this one was.

Last week, New Times spoke with Lynsey White Dasher, Director, Humane Wildlife Conflict Resolution for the Humane Society of the United States, who said that coyotes typically avoid humans and residences, unless they have a reason to approach.

Dasher warned that unsecured garbage cans, fruit that has fallen from trees, and unattended pets tend to attract coyotes into an area. She also warned that trapping one doesn’t necessarily mean the coyote problem will go away.

"Removing coyotes will lead to other transient coyotes moving in," she said. "It might actually encourage them to reproduce more because of the way the social structure of these animals works.”

Moreover, Dasher said that aggressive hazing — making loud noises, blowing whistles, waving one’s arms around — is a more humane way of getting rid of a coyote that has gotten comfortable roaming a neighborhood.

One resident, however, reports that the coyote had become aggressive with him. Still, at least one resident feels badly that it had to come to this.

"People are so afraid, but I'm really sad to hear it was euthanized,” Beth Midler told WSVN, "'cause we are really chasing it out of its habitat. It's really our problem."
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph