Some parents in Clearwater, Fla., are afraid to let their children go trick-or-treating on Halloween, because of coyotes holed up in an abandoned mansion down the street, they say.
The home (pictured above) has been overgrown by foliage and unoccupied for years, and has turned into a breeding ground for animals, its neighbors say.
"We have a 5-foot lizard, which is a very aggressive species ... living on that property," Allie Lyon, who lives down the street, told TV station WTSP in Tampa. "We've had lots of rat problems -- rats going through the neighborhood and going through our homes and yards. And now the coyotes are coming out in broad daylight and being in our front yards. It's very scary."
Neighborhood resident Sema VanBomel snapped photos of a coyote (pictured at left) stalking its sidewalks in the middle of the day.
"For some reason, that coyote keeps going towards her house," VanBomel said of her neighbor's property. "It's, like, trying to get over the fence."
Lyon, who has two children, ages 2 and 3, said that she fears for their safety.
"A coyote -- they can attack small children," she said. "It's a concern for us being out trick-or-treating on Halloween, and this neighborhood has a lot of children in it,"
Lyon told another local station, WFTS, that she called animal control, police and other city officials about the coyotes, but that no one has stepped in and offered assistance.
"We can't get anyone to help us and take care of this problem," Lyon said.
Some neighbors have said that they've seen coyote pups coming from the property.
"I know they're coming from there," Tom Byrnes told WTSP. "I've seen them come in and out of there day and night."
It seems abandoned homes are the perfect spots for coyotes to set up camp. Those living near a burned-out, abandoned home in Glendale, Calif., reportedly got quite a scare last year when a pack of coyotes took up residence there. The owners had to give permission to the city to trap the animals and remove them.