What's News in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin

Urban Encounters
During the warmer months of the year, Village officials begin to receive calls from residents regarding the local coyote population. Callers are typically seeking suggestions for handling sightings and encounters. Following is a synopsis of information provided by the Wisconsin DNR, the UW Extension and the Cook County, Illinois, Coyote Project.

Though not always noticed, coyotes in the Midwest are quite common. The first step in managing an animal encounter in an urban setting is identifying the animal you are seeing. Coyotes resemble small collie dogs and have pointed ears, a slender muzzle, and a bushy tail. Though colors vary greatly, most are a brown-gray color with a light gray or cream colored belly. While coyotes prefer areas that offer adequate protection, such as edges of wooded and brushy areas, they can also be found near fields, parks, rivers, and other areas with natural vegetation. This includes residential developments.

While coyotes are not typically aggressive towards humans, they may carry parasites such as: ticks, fleas, lice, mites, flatworms and roundworms. Coyotes seldom prey on domestic animals. Their main sources of food are: rodents, rabbits, insects, fruits, and other vegetative matter. If you see a coyote, you should keep your distance from the animal. If you feel a coyote is too close, try: turning on outside lights, making loud noises, tossing a small object in the direction of the coyote (not directly at the coyote). This should cause the animal to flee. To avoid conflicts with the animal: do not feed a coyote; do not run from a coyote; and report aggressive or fearless coyotes to the Police Department at 694-7353. If a coyote is in the area, do not leave your small pets, especially domestic cats, outside unattended. Fencing and motion sensored outdoor lighting may also help to deter coyotes.

When coyotes become more aggressive and less intimidated by humans or if a coyote takes a small household pet, such as a cat, you may want to consider contacting a wildlife removal professional for assistance. If you would like further information related to managing encounters with the urban coyote population, contact Marty Johnson with the local Department of Natural Resources office at 262/884-2391.

The red fox is another wildlife species that is present in most urban communities in the area. Their main sources of food are rabbits, rodents, insects and other small animals. To reduce the likelihood of foxes becoming a nuisance in your neighborhood, please: do not feed foxes; secure garbage can lids; feed pets indoors and do not leave pet food outside; do not put meat scraps into a compost pile; and remove bird feeders that attract small rodents with bird seed that has dropped on the ground. If you encounter a fox in your yard, attempt to frighten it away by: turning on outside lights, making loud noises, and spraying them with water from your outdoor garden hose. To learn more about wildlife in Wisconsin, please visit dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/publ/.

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