• Officials at Firehouse 29 spotted a coyote strolling through the station
  • The fire house is located in an urban neighborhood where it is unusual for a coyote to roam free
  • More than 5,000 coyote sightings were reported in Florida in the past four years

Rescue officials at a fire station in Florida woke up Sunday morning to a surprise visitor – a coyote.

The animal was spotted near a fire truck parked outside Firehouse 29 in Fort Lauderdale. The officials shared photos of the coyote on Twitter, where it can be seen wandering near the fire truck.

"Firehouse 29 had a startling surprise this morning. As they walked around the truck they found a coyote wandering through the bay," the post read.

The sighting has caused quite a scare among the officials. "Not sure who was startled more as they ran in opposite directions," the post read.

Fort Lauderdale is located in a "dense urban neighborhood" where it is unusual for a coyote to roam free. The coyote reportedly ran back into the wild when it was spotted.

In the past four years, more than 5,000 coyote sightings were reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), which included instances of pets getting killed by the animal. The FWC, in a report, said the wild canines, which are native to North America, live in all 67 counties in Florida though they are not native to the state.

It said coyotes rarely attack humans. They are omnivorous in nature and feed on small mammals such as rabbits, mice, voles and shrews, as well as plants. The animals wander into urban areas while following food sources but they are usually very timid around people.

In February 2019, a man was attacked by an aggressive coyote while walking his dog, which prompted him to use his coffee cup to fight it. The incident happened in Florida's Lake County. Ben Pool said the animal became aggressive when he made a noise and charged at the dog. When Pool managed to pull the coyote from his dog, it attacked him. Pool managed to make his way back to his home with his dog and the coyote followed them. He then shot and killed the coyote with his gun. He wasn't facing any charges for killing the animal.

Representational image. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images