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A bit of the wild comes to Cornell, with coyote pack

A bit of the wild comes to Cornell, with coyote pack A bit of the wild comes to Cornell, with coyote pack

By Ginna Young

Spotting coyotes in the city limits of Cornell, is nothing new, but recently, the wild animals are coming farther into residential areas. Urban coyote encroachment is a common problem, because human habitations are a good food source and the city is rife with tidbits to keep the animals coming back for more.

“I think there have been coyotes around Cornell for years, and years and years,” said Cornell Police Chief Glenn Rehberg. “I have not received any reports of animals, like pets, being eaten or people being surrounded on the bike trail, or anything like that.”

Despite that, Rehberg is taking the matter seriously and advises residents to do what they can to mitigate risks, such as not leaving open garbage cans and pet food dishes outside. Underbrush can also be cleared from yards to prevent the coyotes’ prey – rabbits, mice and squirrels – from nesting and attracting the carnivorous hunters.

Dogs and cats shouldn’t be left unattended, or allowed to run around loose, especially considering the coyote mating season is in full swing and the wild animals can become aggressive toward the domesticated pets.

Rehberg says even if he could snap his fingers and make the coyotes that are around the city now disappear, it really wouldn’t do much good.

“There’s going to be another pack that roams through here if it’s an attractive environment with the food and things like that,” said Rehberg.

Coyotes, as a rule, are generally more afraid of humans, than humans are of them, so if someone encounters one of the wild animals, they should yell and make loud noises, clap their hands or throw sticks at the critters to scare them away.

“Wild animals are a fact of life in a small northern Wisconsin community,” said Rehberg. “And while we should exercise caution and be aware of these animals, we should also recognize that they will continue to be our neighbors. If they don’t like it here, they’ll leave.”