December 9, 2008

Coyote, with trap on its leg, wanders Mount Pleasant

A Mount Pleasant neighborhood is buzzing about a wild coyote spotted Tuesday -- dragging a trap and chain attached to a front paw.

It's been seen by at least two residents, and was photographed Tuesday afternoon by David Fabian, of 3816 Pleasant Lane on the shore of Hansche Pond, east of Lathrop and south of Taylor.

"I was amazed. I just couldn't believe it," he said of the "little guy roaming the area," which stayed on his property for about half an hour, seeking shelter. It then headed to a neighbor's house, and then toward the lake.

David's wife, Barb, said the coyote "looked very tired, dragging the trap around." She said the coyote was about the size of a German Shepherd dog, "clogged with ice and snow."

The Fabians said Mount Pleasant Police have received numerous reports of the coyote. There is some question about the trap. The municipal code says it's illegal to set traps, unless the person has written approval from the village board. An officer told the Fabians that the trap appeared to be "a legal one," in that in didn't cut the animal's foot and could be released with just a stick -- if anyone dared get that close to the animal.

The officer also mentioned a "chicken farm" in the area, and pointed vaguely toward the intersection of Chicory and Lathrop, but wouldn't be more specific. Someone who raises chickens would have the right to place a non-damaging, humane trap on their property to protect their chickens, the officer said.

David Fabian notes wryly, "This person may know how to raise chickens, but they certainly don't know how to trap an animal, as this one is now loose and dragging the trap with it."

Anyone spotting the coyote is urged to call the Countryside Humane Society at 554-6699 or the DNR at 884-2300.

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