Suntree Country Club brings in trapper to nab pack of coyotes


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Coyotes have become a nuisance in Suntree neighborhoods.

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Several coyotes have been seen roaming for weeks on and near the Suntree Country Club. On Jan. 7, it killed a nearly 40-pound rescue dog. Area residents are concerned about the safety of their pets and children.

“I saw a coyote cross my backyard and I jumped and went outside, and it went straight across the golf course,” said Suntree resident Laura Baumeister, who lives in Whispering Pines. “They (the coyotes) are on the second hole of the classic course, in between Inverness and South Pinehurst.

“The one I saw was over a hundred pounds. My dog is 95 pounds and it is bigger than my dog. There are two black ones, a brown one and a gray one.”

“It was broad daylight — 8:30 in the morning. We had left the house and came back two hours later,” Baumeister continued. “I found a beautiful dog with a leash and harness in my backyard and took pictures. It had been gutted by the coyote between my yard and the golf course. I immediately called Suntree Country Club maintenance.

“Suntree Maintenance came out and they took the carcass of the dog and contacted the owner. Two of my children weigh less than the dog that was killed. It’s very alarming. They have gotten more aggressive. Not scared of people or anything.”

“I will say this has made many of us very nervous and concerned for our pets. I won’t even let my 13-year-old daughter walk our dog on the golf course right now,” wrote Robin Rye in an email.

In response, the Suntree Country Club has hired a trapper to capture the coyotes.

“The club is always concerned for member safety as well as the residents of the community,” Suntree Country Club General Manager Steve Lamontagne said in an email.

“Traps are going to be fed throughout the golf course,” said James Dean, a nuisance wildlife trapper for the State of Florida. “They like watermelon. I also put roadkill if I get a phone call to pick up a raccoon or other animal that has passed away from a vehicle. The coyotes will be taken to a conservation area and removed to the wild as long as they are healthy.

“They want to make sure that the members and children are safe. Unfortunately, someone just lost a dog.”

Five coyotes have been spotted at Suntree Country Club and two have been trapped.

“All the rabbits are being depleted on the golf course,” Dean said. “They kill our deer population. They are one of the hardest animals to capture. We’re trying to put everyone at ease. Everyone is comfortable that they have a real trapper out here.”

Many are wondering why the coyotes are wandering around in Suntree.

“Once they deplete a food source in one area, they move to another area,” Dean said.

“You can hear them chattering at night,” Baumeister said. “They have this weird chatter. And they call to each other and chatter.”

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