Coyote: “Hi I’m a coyote, we’re from out of town!”
Scientist: “There goes the neighbourhood!”
Newly discovered urban coyotes could be an early sign that larger carnivores will soon start to eye up humanity’s main territory: the city.
This from EurekaAlert:
COLUMBUS, Ohio – About five miles from Chicago O’Hare International Airport, scientists have located the smallest known coyote territory ever observed. For at least six years, a coyote community has maintained its existence within about a third of a square mile.
“That’s an indication that they don’t have to go far to find food and water. They’re finding everything they need right there, in the suburbs of Chicago,” said Stan Gehrt, an associate professor of environment and natural resources at Ohio State University who has led the tracking of coyotes around Chicago for 12 years. “It amazes me.”
Coyotes are the largest of the mammalian carnivores to have made their way to, and thrived in, urban settings, Gehrt said.
“The coyote is the test case for other animals. Raccoons, skunks, foxes – they’ve already been able to penetrate the urban landscape pretty well. The coyote is the most recent and largest. The jury’s out with what’s going to happen with the bigger ones,” he said.
The bigger ones include wolves, mountain lions and bears. Mountain lions have been seen on the fringes of cities already, and one was shot near the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago.
“They are going to be an even bigger challenge,” Gehrt said.
Meanwhile in South East England the BBC has been counting the cost of an apparently futile search for a lion which was feared to be on the loose in British suburbia:
BBC NEWS reports:
Police dispatched more than 30 officers and spent more than £3,000 on helicopter time in their hunt for the “Essex lion”, it has emerged.
The search for a “lion” seen in St Osyth, near Clacton-on-Sea, began at 18:58 BST on 26 August.
Despite a police search of the area, no lion was found and the operation was called off the next day.
Essex Police said 31 officers took part in the search, overtime was paid and £3,600 was spent on helicopters.
One possible explanation for the sighting was provided by Ginny Murphy, of St Osyth, who claimed the animal spotted was her pet cat, called Teddy Bear.
(My emphasis) Full story here.
In the real world I'm a freelance TV/radio presenter. I've worked for LBC, Kerrang Radio, The Bay, Edge Media TV, Hallam FM and The BBC.
My podcast is here: http://thecultofnick.libsyn.com/
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