Did you know that putting out food attractants for coyotes is illegal in Jamestown?
A 30-pound female coyote caught and GPS-collared in the wilds of Watson Farm has turned out to be remarkably relaxed around people and residential areas. Her travel paths lead from the North End to the Beavertail and people are sending us photos (thank you!) from all over including the Rec. Center at East Ferry (photo by Molly Conlon). We shot video of her at the Fort Getty fields listening for and pouncing on meadow voles (she got 4).
To see Sherlock mousing in natural habitat is a treat; to see her around town wrecks my day. In our experience, her lack of fear around people can only be caused by one thing: having been fed (unintentionally or intentionally) by people. As with most habituated animals she stares at people or approaches to establish whether they are going to give her food.
Putting out food attractants for coyotes is illegal for good reasons by Town Ordinance and State Regulations. This is a call to all community residents to stop and think before you put any food that might attract Sherlock or other coyotes to visit your neighborhood. This includes pet food on porches, feral cat feeding on the ground, farm livestock grains within reach, free range chickens, compost, garbage, or table scraps. Anything edible.
Please enjoy watching her mouse from afar but if she comes towards you haze her and shoo her off. She is not aggressive at this point but if she does not learn to keep her distance, inevitably, there will be a call for lethal control.
I have always been extremely proud of the way Jamestowners “get it” with respect to the NBCS no-feeding message. Those of you that remember the saga of “Cliff the Coyote” in Newport and Middletown will appreciate it if we don’t see a season of “Sherlock” here on Jamestown this winter. This is just a reminder that the Sherlock story will not end happily if we don’t turn things around together.