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South Hills Residents Concerned About Influx Of Predators

Reported by: Send eMail Kennie Bass
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Also Contributing: Brad Rice
Reported: Nov. 19, 2013 6:56 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 20, 2013 8:58 AM EST

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Coyote Problems
Eyewitness News Photo

Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia

Ron and Debbie Cobb are warning their neighbors. Signs in the Cobb's yard spell out a problem with roaming coyotes and include a graphic picture of their 14-year old cat which they say was torn apart by the predators.

Now the Cobbs are concerned that other pets...and perhaps even small children, are at risk.

"So I'm getting reports from everywhere, from Smith Road to Fort Hill to Loudendale to Norwood, they're all over the hill," Ron Cobb said. "And I really don't have an answer. I can tell you we've got an abundance of them and they're starting to kill."

Ron Cobb suggests that allowing trapping might be the best solution to deal with the coyotes, which are notoriously hard to eradicate.

Charleston's mayor says trapping is an option, but perhaps not the best one.

"I would encourage the lady that's feeding the cats to stop," Danny Jones said. "And for people to quit putting food out overnight anywhere you are in the city if you want coyotes...if coyotes are in your neighborhood."

The Division of Natural Resources warns that coyotes should be respected as wild animals, but adds that there are ways to keep your small pets safe.

"In West Virginia we haven't had any problems with coyotes attacking people," Chris Ryan with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources said. "They will prey upon small pets or other small wildlife in terms of cats and raccoons and things like that. The best thing to do is make sure you keep your cats inside, don't feed your animals outside and don't feed the wildlife."

"My concern is that as the weather gets colder, the ground gets covered with snow and food source becomes scarce potentially anything could happen," Ron Cobb said. "They're gonna eat. They're gonna eat something."

Trapping on your own property within the city limits is legal as long as you have a valid hunting permit. Also, you can trap on someone else's property if you have permission. But the DNR and Charleston's mayor say the best solutions are to keep small pets inside and don't leave food outside.



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