A group of citizens wants answers after state officials made the decision to euthanize a coyote found in the waters near PortMiami earlier this week.
A Change.org petition has been filed asking for an explanation into why Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission officials made the decision to kill the animal after it was saved Tuesday by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue crews after it ended up in the water and was stuck between a wall and a buoy.
Eventually, first responders were able to get to the coyote and take it to safety to a nearby boat. The crew of seven members said the animal was biting, scratching and crawling at them as they were rescuing it.
"It’s definitely not something we do every day. But it’s fairly simple," MDFR's Andres Machado said after the capture. "We just have to, uh...scare him out from behind one of those buoys and then lasso him, you know, like a cowboy.”
The initial plan was to rehabilitate the coyote at the Wildlife Rescue of Dade County, an employee said.
“They came here and picked up a cage, and I’ve been getting ready to receive it ever since, and I’ve just been told that higher up in their chain of command the decision was made to euthanize the animal," said rescue employee Lloyd Brown.
FWC says the reason the coyote was put down was because the animal is a non-native species. However, Zoo Miami wildlife expert, Ron Magill, says that's not accurate.
“This is an animal that has over the years migrated down to the state, it’s one of the most adaptable animals in the world," Magill said. "There’s 600 in Chicago so they can adapt to almost any environment so they are naturally occurring here now."