Be wary of wild animals who prey on pets

A woman reported seeing a coyote that appeared to be hunting small animals in her yard on Bagburn Road on July 17, then seeing another coyote chasing a deer across the yard later that morning.

While that is not uncommon in the wild, Animal Control Officer Ed Risko reminds residents to take precautions to protect their pets from predators when they’re outside.

“This about the predators around your neighborhood, fox, bobcats, coyote and technically hawks and eagles,” he said. “In the 1800s Bald Eagles caused livestock damage and the population is covering mming back. An eagles’ nest at Stevenson Dam is in its third year.”

Some domestic animals have already been lost.

On July 22, a Monroe Turnpike woman reported seeing a bobcat watching the caged ducks in her yard and told officers one duck went missing three days before.

Risko said she was given fact sheets on bobcats and exclusion tips to protect her ducks.

On July 19, a Cottage Street woman told officers two of her free-range chickens were missing for four days.

Risko said a missing pet form was completed and search tips provided, along with a warning to stop feeding wildlife.

A turkey gets confused

A Richards Drive woman reported seeing a wild turkey pacing back and forth in her fenced back yard for two hours on July 20.

Officers determined it was normal behavior and that the bird was distressed and couldn’t figure out how to leave the yard — never changing direction to see the exit.

“Once it was pressed, the turkey finally took flight, going over the fence and back into the tree line,” Risko said.

Critters enjoy fresh vegetables

A Pamela Drive man reported a cottontail rabbit damaging his home garden on July 23 and on July 24, an Applegate Lane man told Monroe Animal Control a woodchuck living under his shed is causing damage to his garden.

Young rabbit gains independence

A Cobblers Hill Court man mowing his lawn on the evening of July 24 became concerned when he found a young rabbit alone in his yard.

An officer searched the area, but was unable to find the animal. However, Animal Control Officer Ed Risko said that, based on the description, it appeared to be a normal, healthy immature rabbit.

“Sometimes people see newly independent young rabbits and think that such small creatures can’t possibly get along without their mothers,” Risko said. “Baby rabbits found alone in a nest are usually not orphans. If a nest has been disturbed, put it back together and cover the babies with the grass that originally covered them.”

To check to make sure the mother is caring for them, Risko said to place several lengths of yarn (branches work too) in a grid pattern over the nest.

For tips on what to do about wild rabbits, Risko recommends a page on the Humane Society of the United State’s website.

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