Photo Gallery | Coyote on the Southbank

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The San Marco panther hasn't been heard from in a while, and nature abhors a vacuum, so more wildlife has moved into the area.

A coyote has taken up roost in the area on the Southbank formerly occupied by a JEA generating station, now a grassy lot not far from a St. Nicholas neighborhood and the School Board building.

Coyotes are "opportunistic," "elusive" and "adaptable," according to Karen Parker with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

Parker added they can live in urban settings as well, as evidenced by its apparent lack of concern as our camera recorded it lounging around this afternoon.

Parker said the FWC thus far has not taken any action toward the coyote.  If it stalked people or pets, then the FWC would get involved.

Since coyotes live throughout the state, and much closer to people than they may realize -- after all, they are elusive -- the FWC is not terribly concerned for anyone's safety.

That said, Parker has some advice for anyone wishing for the coyote to keep its distance.

"Anything that will attract a raccoon will attract a coyote," she said, so people need to be mindful of food and garbage.

Coyotes are crepuscular, active during dawn and dusk, so its relaxed appearance midday today was not unusual.

They feed on rats, mice, rabbits, wild fruits and the like, including roadkill of most varieties.

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