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Portsmouth To Make Feeding Coyotes Illegal

The town of Portsmouth plans to draft an Anti-Feeding Coyotes Ordinance, making it the second community in the state with such an ordinance.

The town of Portsmouth is planning to create an ordinance which mirrors Middletown's "No Coyote-Feeding Ordinance," according to Town Councilor Keith Hamilton on Tuesday. 

The council has "directed the solicitor to create an anti-wildlife feeding ordinance to mirror Middletown's," wrote Hamilton in an e-mail. The decision was made during Monday night's council meeting at Town Hall. 

Several residents have recently complained about an increase in coyote sightings in town.

Earlier this week, we asked if Portsmouth had a coyote problem on Portsmouth Patch's Facebook page. Here's what a couple users had to say. 

Chris Redfern Carceller: From the amount of cats missing in town, and the loss of a friend's small dog due to a coyote attack last month, I would think that we do have a coyote problem.

Tara Rudman: I hear packs of them at night all the time..its scary sounding...way to close to home

Middletown is currently the only Rhode Island community to establish and enforce a "No Coyote-Feeding Ordinance" with fines. Except for birds and outdoor farm animals, the Middletown ordinance bans residences from feeding in a manner that would attract coyotes or other non-domestic animals. 

Violations of the ordinance can result in fines of up to $500 per day. To view Middletown's ordinance, click here.

The Narragansett Bay Coyote Study tracks coyotes on Aquidneck Island. To see tracking of coyotes or learn more about the study, click here

What do you think about Portsmouth drafting of an Anti-Feeding Ordinance? Will this help reduce the coyote population in town? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below! 

Erica Medley January 30, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Coyotes were welcomed here by DEM. They were supposed to solve the deer overpopulation. Coyotes are lazy. It's easier to pick garbage, eat bird seed and food left for feral cats and people's pets. Now we have an over population of Deer And Coyotes. In Middletown they solved their coyote problem with a professional sharp shooter.
Shirley C. Lally January 30, 2013 at 04:55 PM
If you leave food outside and don't secure your trash cans, you are part of the problem. Coyotes associate humans with food if this occurs. Their normal diet consists mostly of rodents of all types. They will also take weaker larger species, such as deer, and they have indeed succeeded on Aquidneck Island. Predators are a necessary part of a healthy ecosystem to control overpopulation. They have plenty to eat in the wild & are not after your kids or your pets. It is neither kind nor smart to let your pets out unsupervised, as there aren't many other dangerous out there aside from coyotes. They are intelligent animals who live in dens with their packs, which are family units and we can co-exist with them. They exist in every state now be because of loss of habitat. Kudos to the Council for drafting this ordinance!
Shirley C. Lally January 30, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Siri Correction - there are many dangers out there besides coyotes.
fed_up_in_Portsmouth January 31, 2013 at 09:28 AM
I had a friend who was deer hunting up in Foster by himself. he was surrounded by a pack of six coyotes. He said he was glad he had his gun. What are we supposed to tell the St. Phil's kids on the cross country team? Don't go out on the course and get left behind? Shirley, you are misinformed.
Shirley C. Lally January 31, 2013 at 05:17 PM
You neglected to say if your friend was attacked or menaced by said coyotes. Attacks on humans are extremely rare. On the occasions when this has occurred the animal is either rabid or it's den and pups are being threatened. suggest that you go to the Narragansett Bay coyote study website at WWW.dottheconservationagency.org/coyote.htm or call Numi Mitchell at 213-9663 to become better informed.

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