Coyotes spotted in city neighborhood


Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - Chad Darnall

PADUCAH, Ky.---Coyotes keep showing up in front yards, the people who live there say the predators have got to go.

A sergeant with Kentucky Fish and Wildlife is quick to remind us the coyotes were here first.
There's evidently enough nature in this newer neighborhood to make the coyotes feel comfortable and at home.
Take the tree line in the neighborhood, for example.
The people who live here want the coyotes gone because they say the coyotes are turning their pets into prey.

At first glance you might think Paducah Police officers are on a manhunt. Think again!
They're searching for coyotes that Sally Carter says killed her cats.

"One's been missing a week, and one's been missing since Monday," Carter said.

A neighbor's dog disappeared, and lots of people who live here tell us they've spotted the coyotes up close.
That's why so many people called McCracken County Animal Control, but director Chryss George said there's nothing she can do.

"As animal control we only deal with domesticated animals," George said.

While neighbors seemed shocked that coyotes are in their community , Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Garry Clark said they shouldn't be.

"It's good terrain, you've got a ditch with plenty of honeysuckle all that on there, just like you'd see out in the county," Clark said.

Unlike animal control, he has the authority to capture and kill wild species, but he's reluctant to do so within city limits.

"I'm not going to shoot anything unless I've got a clear safe shot," Clark said.

But Carter said something needs to be done before someone else's pet becomes prey.

"I don't know who they need to contact but they need to find somebody who has some expertise in this. There's somebody out there that does," Carter said.

A Paducah Police spokesperson tells me yesterday an officer did shoot one of the coyotes.
The coyote ran away after that but they do believe it was struck. We know there's at least one other coyote out here, I spotted him today.

People living within Paducah's city limits could legally set a trap but are not allowed to fire a gun within city limits. If you're caught shooting you could be cited, face misdemeanor charges, and be arrested.
Paducah Police urge you to call them if you have concerns.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife also has a list of nuisance control companies in our area. If you'd like to see that list, CLICK HERE.