FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. -- Pets are now prey for hunting coyotes in Fernandina Beach.
"Over the last year, we've been starting to get reports of them coming over on the east side of the county," said Nick Hartley, wildlife trapper and owner of Kritt R Done.
The coyotes are getting much closer to neighborhoods. Two of Hartley's four kittens have already disappeared. He tells Action News he checked local shelters and with neighbors. When the wildlife trapper says he saw coyote tracks, which are more narrow and elongated than dog tracks, he knew he had a bigger problem on his hands.
"I talked with another gentlemen on the road who said his dog was attacked by multiple other dogs. It had bites and punctures on the dog," said Hartley.
He set up a camera along with fish, dog food and other bait, until he finally got something.
"The coyote looked like 35 to 40 pounds and appears to be a female," said Hartley.
The video clearly shows a coyote on the prowl.
Hartley even took Action News crews out to the location to show us the fresh paw prints still visible in the sand.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says coyotes have been reported in 48 Florida counties since the 1980s, largely in the northwestern part of the state.
Hartley now worries populations are on the rise in Nassau County. However, he plans to trap the coyotes, to help with the problem.