PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island woman has been found guilty and fined for feeding a coyote.
CoyoteSmarts, which works to address the growing number of coyotes on Aquidneck Island, tells The Newport Daily News it’s the first time anyone has been prosecuted on the island for violating local laws against intentionally feeding coyotes.
Joanne MacKnight was convicted by a Portsmouth municipal court judge on Wednesday. She disputed the charge.
He fined her $50 and ordered her to pay $50 in court costs.
The coyote was wearing a GPS device that allowed researchers to track it. They determined the animal was making repeated stops at MacKnight’s home. Neighbors confirmed it was being fed there.
Authorities say the town prosecuted the offense because it set an important precedent.