Coyotes on the prowl at Warwick sports complex

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — While working as a field maintenance operator, Cameron Whittaker has become friendly with a lot of the regular walkers at Confreda Sports Complex in Warwick. Recently he saw a woman he thought got a second dog – until he realized it was a coyote.

“I was getting her attention and she noticed right away too and she started running,” Whittaker recalled. “I was trying to get her attention to say ‘don’t run, just try to calmly walk away,’ and this thing it was not afraid of humans, at all.”

The complex and its walking trails through the woods are popular with families, especially on the weekends. Now, coyotes are on the prowl and confronting people. What strikes Whittaker as unusual is that the coyotes are coming right out onto the fields rather than staying along the brush line, as he’s grown accustomed to seeing.

“It’s actually been a few months now since the first time I saw the coyotes down here,” he added. “It definitely puts something in your mind. You’ve got to be more aware of your surroundings.”

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says the best way to eliminate problems with coyotes is to not leave garbage containers open. It’s also important to keep your small pets inside and inform your children not to approach wild animals.

Whittaker said it’s possible the animals are attracted to food and trash left behind from weekend sporting events.

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