LAKE COUNTY, FL (WESH/CNN) - A Florida man says he did what he had to do to protect himself and his dog when faced with an overly aggressive coyote.
Ben Pool said he hears coyotes around his neighborhood often, but he rarely sees them. Last Friday, however, he found his dog face-to-face with a coyote, preparing to fight.
Pool was able to get the two animals apart before the coyote attacked. He then used the coffee cup he was holding to defend himself.
"He came at my legs, first. I smashed him in the side of the head with the cup. He came back, and I smashed him again. He jumped up at my face. When he did that, I stepped to the side, hit him in the side of the head. He screamed and went down," Pool said.
Pool managed to get himself and his dog up the street and home, but he says the coyote was relentless.
"It was extremely aggressive. It did not respond to anything I had ever heard, like making noise. The more I did that, the madder it got and the madder it came at me," Pool said.
Desperate, Pool got a gun and climbed in his truck.
"I was going to shoot it out the window because I didn't want to get out and fight it again, and when I did, it jumped up at the window of the truck. I rolled the window down, backed up, went three or four times at it and finally, ran it over. No regrets. I'd do it again in a heartbeat," Pool said.
The coyote was killed, but Pool fears the coyote population is only going to get larger and this issue will get more complicated. He wants more support from state and local officials.
"If I’d have been bitten, everyone would have been here in a heartbeat doing something. But since I wasn't bitten, nobody was going to come and do anything," Pool said.
Pool’s dog will be getting frequent check-ups to make sure rabies is not an issue. The man himself does not face any legal repercussions from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for the action he took to kill the coyote.
However, state wildlife officers suggest people with coyote problems hunt them on private property or have them trapped.