Those are just a few of the incidents that have Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan asking just what can be done to protect residents and their property from “potentially dangerous” wild animals that have been spotted in densely populated areas.
Hagan intends to ask county staff to look into the “state of the situation” when commissioners meet Feb. 6 for their regular meeting.
According to Hagan’s agenda item, he wants staff directed to “recommend an action plan designed to alert citizens of the dangers as well as advise on ways to best protect themselves and their property.”
Coyote sightings are not uncommon in Hillsborough’s populated areas. Wild boar sightings are also not unheard of.
Hagan, however, says some of the reports have been atypical.
“Recent and frequent (sightings) in areas of Carrollwood Village, Original Carrollwood and Lake Magdalene are very unusual,” Hagan said. “What is most concerning is their increasing activity in highly populated areas, which substantially increases the potential for a dangerous encounter.”
Reports about human and wild animal interactions have been “increasingly aggressive,” he added.
Hagan is unsure of what actions, if any, the county should take, but intends to ask Animal Services to report back on the situation.
“A real potential for danger exists and I want to ensure that our residents have all the information they need to remain safe.”
Hagan’s primary goal is to raise awareness about the increase in sightings and aggressive encounters, he said, and to “alert our residents to what they can do to protect themselves from injury and their property from damage.”
The commission meets at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, at 601 E. Kennedy Blvd.
To view the full agenda, visit the county online.
What types of wild animals have you spotted in Lutz? Do they concern you? Share your thoughts in the comments section.