The following is an open letter to the Portsmouth Town Council. This letter was sent prior to Tuesday's meeting:
Dear Portsmouth Town Council members,
Please see this link regarding coyote attacks on humans: http://varmintal.com/attac.htm
We have a serious problem with coyotes on Aquidneck Island. As a result there will be an all-island Coyote Summit held on Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m. at the Gaudet School (Turner Road entrance) in Middletown. I hope that you will participate in this event as all the communities of the island need to be part of the solution to this crisis. It is important that action be taken sooner than later.
Our 50-pound lab/Akita mixed-breed dog was recently killed as a result of a coyote attack in our yard. The coyote returned the next night to finish the job that was not completed on the night of the attack. Again, last week, I saw this animal roaming around our neighborhood passing again through my yard where it attacked my dog. One of the children in our neighborhood was recently followed by a coyote to the bus stop on Walcott Avenue. All of these events and many others provide evidence that action needs to be taken against these predators.
Christine also included information in the letter from a study conducted at the University of California. The full report can be read at this link: http://escholarship.org/uc/item/8qg662fb.
The coyotes on Aquidneck Island have become bolder, more aggressive and acclimatized to humans. They pose a real threat to the residents of our communities. In order to address the coyote crisis in an efficient and effective manner, the leaders in all three communities on the island need to act together. Let's hope this begins at the Coyote Summit next Tuesday. Hope to see you there!
Christine S. Fagan