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Fairfield hosts forum on coyote problems

Updated 11:47 am, Friday, January 18, 2013
  • This pack of coyotes was photographed at night sniffing around the Fairfield Animal Shelter on One Road Highway last year. State and local officials plan a public-education program about the animals on Wednesday evening, Jan. 23, at School Department headquarters. Photo: Contributed Photo
    This pack of coyotes was photographed at night sniffing around the Fairfield Animal Shelter on One Road Highway last year. State and local officials plan a public-education program about the animals on Wednesday evening, Jan. 23, at School Department headquarters. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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State and local officials will host a forum growing coyote activity in Fairfield on Wednesday in Board of Education headquarters.

The information session will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. in the school board's meeting room on the second floor, 501 Kings Highway East.

Experts will discuss topics ranging from coyote habits to protecting pets to yard management and trapping, according to state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, R-132, who serve as moderator.

Police and animal control officers in Fairfield and surrounding communities in recent years have reported more coyote sightings and attacks on small dogs, cats and other pets.

The main speaker will be Chris Vann, a nuisance wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and an expert on the Eastern coyote. Fairfield Animal Control Officer Paul Miller and Police Chief Gary McNamara also will participate.

They will be joined by state Sen. John McKinney, R-28, and state Reps. Kim Fawcett, D-133, and Tony Hwang, R-134.

Discussion topics also will include the history of coyotes, their habits and habitat, conflicts with people and pets, coyote disease and problem-coyote management.

Fairfield officials in June warned residents that coyotes were on the prowl and cautioned them not to leave small pets outside unattended. That warning came after about a half-dozen dogs were killed in what authorities believed were coyote attacks.

Increased sightings also had been reported the previous winter in Fairfield, Westport and other area communities.

Eastern coyotes were first documented in Connecticut in the 1950s. They are attracted by food, Miller has said, and now can be anywhere in town.

For more information, call Fairfield Animal Control at 203-254-4857.