UPDATE: Riverdale hires Bettendorf company to handle coyote problem

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UPDATE: Riverdale thinks it’s found the answer to the city’s coyote problem. 

Tuesday night the city council approved a bid from River Valley Wildlife Specialists to trap and kill the coyotes, said councilman Anthony Heddlesten. 

The Bettendorf company uses humane traps that allow them to release any animal they didn’t mean to catch — like a dog. Heddlesten said then they use a tranquilizer that takes three seconds to work. 

River Valley Wildlife Specialists will charge the city $100 for each coyote they catch. Heddlesten said they’ll be trapping throughout the next several weeks. 

Cameron Adams — the son of Dawn Adams whose dog was attacked by a coyote — researched the companies and presented their bids Tuesday night. Heddlesten said he played a key role in finding this solution.

EARLIER POST: A surge of coyote sightings has some people in Riverdale, Iowa on edge so city leaders are looking to eliminate the problem.

City Administrator Tim Long said residents have been complaining about coyotes since November, so this Tuesday city council will look at bids from two companies who would trap and kill the animals. 

Sightings are up all around Scott County, according to conservation officer Jeff Harrison. He said there are probably more coyotes, but there are also more people outside to notice them because of the warm weather this winter. 

The coyotes in Riverdale haven’t hurt anyone, but Dawn Adams’ said her dog had a close call. 

Adams said her husband let 12-year-old Miniature Pinscher Prancer early one morning after Thanksgiving. 

“She came in right away kind of hunched over and when he looked to the edge of our patio there was a coyote there just staring at him,” she said. 

It wasn’t long before he noticed prancer’s neck was bleeding.

“I’m assuming the coyote somehow had a grip of her neck,” Adams said. “A tooth actually punctured her trachea … The vets were like, ‘We’re not used to coyote attacks around here.'”

Local 4 News spotted coyote tracks in a nearby field, which Adams said neighborhood kids walk through to get to school. 

Harrison said the coyotes feel safe here because there’s no hunting in city limits.

“They basically have a giant refuge with the city limits because they can come in here. They’re not going to be pressured. They’re not going to be hunted,” Harrison said. “The more they see humans, the more they become used to them where they’re not going to run off.” 

Harrison says trapping laws would have to change to really impact the population, ut until the coyotes  are back under control Adams said there’s one thing you can do. 

“Just don’t let your dog out unattended,” she said. 

If coyotes keep showing up near your house, Harrison said to take down your bird feeder. He says the feed falls to the ground and brings in mice and other rodents, which are a food source for coyotes. 

Coyotes aren’t the only wild animals people are seeing closer to home. Harrison said there have been as many calls about bobcats. People are spotting them along the Duck Creek Trail. 
 

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