Twenty-one woodchucks, 12 cats, four skunks, four foxes, two coyotes and one badger. Over the last year, Wildlife Management and Rescue, of Flushing, live trapped and relocated 44 animals from the Fenton Water Plant property, said Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Daniel Czarnecki.
The city paid $2,500 for the year of service, to live trap and remove animals that are making homes in the fenced area behind the water treatment plant, around the lime lagoons and the storm water retention ponds. The animals were causing a nuisance and burrowing into the ground around the water treatment plant, compromising the integrity of the ground around the plant, Czarnecki said. As part of Fenton’s new groundwater discharge permit from the this needs to be addressed.
Wildlife Management and Rescue traps the animals without killing them and relocates them, he added.
Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl King asked whether the owners of the new Spoonz restaurant, at the location of the former have been asked to keep the top of their dumpster closed. The odors attract animals, King said.
Czarnecki said administration can do this. The city is having animals trapped around the water treatment plant, not farther out on the property. Also, the types of animals being live trapped are mostly burrowers, including woodchucks, foxes and two coyotes, instead of scavengers like raccoons.
There are coyotes in the city, he confirmed, since Wildlife Management and Rescue relocated two from the water plant property.
King agreed, saying there are coyotes behind Meadow Pointe (off North Leroy Street south of Trealout Drive).
Forty-four animals this year, through the end of October, is down from 77 in 2011, Czarnecki said. Fenton hired Wildlife Management and Rescue two years ago, and its annual fee remains the same at $2,500.
City council approved a contract with the firm for the calendar year 2013.
Michigan DNR provides tips on coyotes
Coyotes rarely attack people, information on the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website says. These animals are found in rural to urban areas. Their presence in subdivisions and urban or suburban areas results from increasing human and coyote numbers and people's development of rural areas.
Bites from snakes, rodents and pet dogs are much more likely than coyote bites, public health officials state. But coyotes that are fed become accustomed to humans, so people should never feed them or try to tame them.
To minimize potential problems with coyotes, the Michigan DNR says:
- Never approach or touch a coyote.
- Never intentionally feed a coyote.
- Eliminate all outside food sources, especially pet foods.
- Put garbage out the morning of pickup day.
- Clear out wood and brush piles; they are good habitat for rats and mice and may attract coyotes.
- Good husbandry practices, guard animals, and coyote control measures can help to protect livestock.
- Do not allow pets to roam free when coyotes are present — consider keeping pets indoors or accompany them outside, especially at night.