Wauwatosa coyote, turkey problem; animals trapped, killed

Winter is a more common time of year to see coyotes, and wildlife biologists said the animals are increasingly abundant in urban areas.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the vast majority of the time coyotes cause no problems. However, Wauwatosa recently had to hire a contractor trap and kill five of the animals after a pet was killed.

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Coyotes aren’t the only wild animals that have recently been removed from the area. Wild turkeys are often spotted where nature meets city life.

“I’ve seen them hanging out in the grocery store parking lot, sometimes just on my walks, relaxing in people’s yards,” Martina Spelter said during a walk in Wauwatosa. “Once in a while they block traffic.”

Three turkeys deemed “aggressive” near local businesses were captured and killed earlier this month.

“I really think it’s sad whenever the conflict between people and nature causes this situation,” Spelter said.

Wauwatosa obtained a permit from the DNR to remove the turkeys. Health officials say it was not possible to move them, so they were processed and donated to a local food shelter.

“Euthanizing an animal is a last resort and only done in extreme circumstances. It’s not a decision we take easily or lightly,” said Laura Stephens, animal health officer. city, in a press release.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” said Dan Hirchert, USDA State Director of Wildlife Services. “We had to resolve the situation when people started to worry and potentially hurt themselves.”

This happened even after Outpost Natural Foods asked people to stop feeding the birds, putting up signs and handing out brochures.

“Food is often the source of so many conflicts that occur,” Hirchert said.

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This goes for all wildlife.

“We see it with coyotes, foxes, turkeys, deer, where when they’re fed by people, they get used to people more and they lose their fear,” said Nathan Holoubek, wildlife biologist. of the DNR.

A contractor hired by the city has trapped and killed five coyotes in the area – following the death of a dog in a coyote attack in the Fisher Woods neighborhood in December. Police say another person in the neighborhood believed a coyote injured a golden retriever in the backyard in January.

“It’s almost always a conflict between pets and coyotes. Make sure you’re with your pets,” Holoubek said.

The DNR said residents can take steps to keep the line between humans and wildlife clearer.

“The most important thing is really to make sure people cover their trash, don’t put food in, and watch their pets,” Holoubek said.

The coyote traps have since been removed. FOX6 News asked Holoubek if there was anything special about Wauwatosa that would make issues like this more common. Holoubek says not particularly, and that it rarely comes to that.

Sharon P. Juarez