MEQUON - You may think that many cities and villages in southeastern Wisconsin are too urban to see coyotes but there is still plenty of brush and open space for them to roam freely, creating a bit of a problem for residents.
“With the movement of wolves and other large predators out of urban areas, it's created an opportunity for coyotes to come in, living closer to us,”Director of Humane Wildlife Conflict Resolution Lynsey White Dasher tells TODAY’S TMJ4’s Jesse Ritka.
In 2013, coyotes were worrying residents in Bayside so much that they asked White Dasher to come in from the Humane Society of the United States headquarters in Washington D.C. to help fix the problem. “Since I came last year, (Bayside) they've gotten very few calls about coyote conflicts, so they've been very happy with the results and so they wanted me to come here as well,” White Dasher says as she prepares her talk at the Mequon Nature Preserve.
So in a joint effort with the Village of Bayside, Mequon police, officials and animal control officers are getting the same advice about how to combat coyotes in a humane manner. But pet owners and residents are who White Dasher really wants to reach out to, “What people have to understand is that coyotes when they view an unattended cat or dog, that animal doesn't look any different to them than a woodchuck or a rabbit or something they would naturally eat so they view that item as a natural source of prey.”
This creates a misconception about coyotes White Dasher says, “That doesn’t mean they're going to come after our kids or our grandkids, they're just two completely different issues.”
But to protect your pets, despite the cold and snow, she advises pet owners to stay outside with their pets and keep them on a leash. White Dasher hasmore ideas for if you see one of the wild neighbors nearby, “Yell at them, be big and loud, yell ‘go away coyote!’, you can open an umbrella, you can blow a whistle or an air horn, but just do any of those things any time you see a coyote that doesn't run away and that will teach them to be afraid of us and also stay out of our neighborhoods.”
It is called “hazing coyotes” and it does more than just teach one animal to stay away White Dasher explains, “You're not just teaching the coyote that you interact with, they will pass that information onto their pups and their other family members.”
Plus Lynsey White Dasher says having coyotes nearby can actually be a good thing, “Our urban areas are just great places for coyotes to live because they're primarily eating rodents, mice and rats, they're doing us a favor and there's plenty of those in urban areas.”
There is a Coyote Workshop Tuesday, March, 4th from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Mequon Nature Preserve.