Coyotes on the prowl in Sumter County

Lois Rose first thought a brown blur was a dog running through the field behind her home in the most developed part of the Villages, so she got her camera to zoom in.

It was no dog, but a big coyote.

Rose spotted the animal on Saturday afternoon around lunch time and said it didn’t seem interested in her as she snapped off pictures of it from her porch.

"He wasn't afraid of me, I wasn't afraid of him,” said Rose. "If I was a little dog I might have been afraid of him."

While it’s the first coyote she’s seen in all her years there she said she’s heard a lot of stories from other Villages residents about the wild animals hanging around.  In fact, sightings of coyotes are becoming seemingly more common across the Central Florida area.

The Florida Wildlife Commission said coyotes have long been in the area but as more people make Central Florida home, the animals are being seen more.

According to FWC educational materials on coyotes, they don’t tend to be interested in humans and are usually just searching for food; more often at night but even in the day like Rose saw.

Coyotes have proven a problem for some Central Florida pets in recent years and FWC said they will look at small pets as a food opportunity, so officials recommend keeping a close eye on your animals.