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Turns out, coyotes are not a problem, report concludes

Residents need to know how to keep animals away from homes

April 24, 2010

River Hills — The village will continue its current policy of referring residents with questions or concerns about coyotes to a Department of Natural Resources approved list of animal control services that deal with coyotes.

After several residents reported their concerns, saying the animals were exhibiting more aggressive behavior and hunting in packs, the Committee on the Environment reviewed the issue to determine if there is a problem.

Darlene Lochbihler of the COE provided the Village Board with a report based on interviews with residents, police, representatives in neighboring communities, and wildlife specialists.

Lochbihler said that while residents came to the board to report their concerns, neither village staff nor the Police Department reported any increase in calls about a coyote problem. Police in Bayside and Mequon have not had reports of problems, she said.

The Department of Natural Resources Tom Isaac reported no human has ever been attacked in Wisconsin by a coyote.

Lochbihler said educating residents about ways to keep coyotes away from houses and people should be considered.

Coyotes prefer to eat small rodents, even small deer, geese, turkeys and compost piles. Encouraging residents to cover compost piles or other food sources and to frighten the coyotes away should be part of the education process, she said.

Lochbihler said that it was hard to determine if the village does or does not have problem coyotes, based on the interviews.

Trustee Peggy Russo said the village should have a central gathering point for information about coyotes.

"I found out a small dog around the corner from me had been attacked by a coyote on Channel 6," she said, partially refuting the findings that the coyotes have not caused problems.

Village President Robert Brunner said the police should keep a log of coyote-related calls.

Lochbihler said the board should consider a survey on its website that could be filled out to detail coyote sightings or problems.

Her report as well as links to information about coyotes can be found on the village website, riverhillswi.com.

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