• Jacksonville residents concerned about apparent "zombie" coyote

    By: Danielle Avitable , Action News Jax

    Updated:

    Neighbors on Jacksonville's Westside say a "zombie" coyote is roaming their neighborhood and they are now worried about their pets and children.

    The coyote was seen in the Ortega Park area of Blanding Boulevard, some neighbors have said.

    A wildlife trapper said the coyote is diseased ridden and is most active during the day to hunt for an easy meal.

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    Sharon Trigg took cell phone pictures after looking out her window and seeing the animal just feet from her back door.

    “I wasn’t sure what I saw - had no idea what it was. Didn’t look like anything I have seen,” Trigg said.

    She described it as being lanky and on the hunt for food.

    “It was very, very thin and completely hairless,” Trigg said.

    Action News Jax sent the pictures to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and was told that it’s a coyote with mange.

    “Mange is caused by microscopic mites, so it eats up all the hair and flesh on that animal,” Kyle Waltz with First Coast Wildlife Services said.

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    Waltz said the disease is highly contagious and can spread to other pets.

    “If they lay down in an area and your dog goes in that area, those mites can be transferred,” Waltz said.

    Waltz also said the animals could be dangerous in neighborhoods.

    “It’s a lot more difficult for them to hunt, they are very irritable,” Waltz said.

    Trigg said she took the pictures as children were walking home from school and she’s worried for their safety.

    “There are children all over in the yard and this thing is roaming the neighborhood,” Trigg said.

    In surveillance video the coyote is seen running after a duck in a backyard.

    And Trigg said she found a dead duck in her yard Friday morning.

    “You could see gouges in it and the rear feathers were pulled out,” Trigg said.

    Other neighbors said they have also seen the diseased coyote near their home and want something done.

    “That thing has something. Got to keep my kids away from that,” neighbor, Quenton McClendon said. 

    An FWC spokesperson said a wildlife trapper would have to come remove the animal. 

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