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State wildlife officials, concerned about a coyote that killed a pet Chihuahua last month, put up warning signs Tuesday in WillowWood, the southwest Orange County neighborhood where the little dog was attacked.
The signs read: "Coyote in Area. Don't Feed Wildlife. Supervise Pets."
Joy Hill, a spokeswoman for the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said the agency also made brochures available to residents to help them avoid conflicts with coyotes, an increasing problem in Central Florida.
The 15-year-old Chihuahua, named Zuki, was snatched by a coyote in the predawn hours of April 28 while walking with her owner, Cecilia Lincoln. Wildlife experts suspect the coyote was hunting for food when he spied the unleashed pet.
A similar incident occurred in an Ocoee neighborhood on Christmas.
Wildlife officials advise against allowing small pets to roam unleashed or walking at night in areas where coyotes have been seen. If a coyote does not retreat if approached by humans, report the animal to law-enforcement authorities.
Signs, fitted with a rain-resistant pocket that contains brochures, were placed near the subdivision's entrance and on a sidewalk that winds around Hidden Pond, a small community lake.
Credits: Stephen Hudak, Orlando Sentinel