[Editor’s Note: The video above discusses a warning to pet owners after a coyote attacked a dog in Hudson earlier this year.]
AKRON, Ohio (WJW) – A coyote spotted in busy downtown Akron wearing what appeared to be a tracking collar has sparked some curiosity.
FOX 8 viewer, Brandy Brugger, snapped a photo of the animal and tells us that while she lives on a 75-acre farm she has rarely seen a coyote. Yet, as she left work one evening in busy downtown– there she saw one.
“Sometimes we’ll hear them at night but never just out and about. I was in awe seeing such a secretive creature just out in downtown Akron!” said Brugger.
Experts with the Ohio Division of Wildlife say it’s not at all unusual for coyotes to be anywhere and everywhere. They are remarkable for their ability to thrive in almost any environment.
But, why was this one wearing what appeared to be a tracking device?
It turns out, the coyote is one of just two the Akron Zoo and Summit Metro Parks are closely monitoring.
In early spring, the coyotes, one male and one female, were fitted with GPS tracking collars and then released back into the same habitat they were found.
The goal of the project is to better understand the behaviors of coyotes in urban settings.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, “The coyote’s strength is that it can adapt and exploit most any habitat to its advantage. While most wildlife species have avoided developed areas and often declined as a result of man’s expansion, the coyote seems to have thrived.”
So far data from the tracking collars show these two particular coyotes’ range extends through much of downtown Akron.
“The two coyotes are believed to be part of the same family unit and travel mainly at night, using green spaces like the canal and railway for travel. The two are spending time around bodies of water, like the canal, and are believed to be assisting with goose control,” said officials in a press release.
The female also appears to be nursing a litter of puppies in a den, although the exact location is not being shared for the safety of the animals.
Experts say the coyotes are not a threat to humans, but they recommend keeping a respectful distance and keeping pets on leashes.
“While coyotes might not be endangered, we can learn a lot about how they have adapted to coexist with humans and possibly apply it to protecting other species here locally and around the world,” said Shane Good, senior director of animal care at the Akron Zoo.
“Coyotes are an amazing species that has gone out of its way to adapt to humans and live among us peacefully,” said Mike Johnson, Chief of Conservation at Summit Metro Parks.
The project will be ongoing.The Akron Zoo and Summit Metro Parks say they plan to collar more coyotes this fall.