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Oxford

So Far, One Female Coyote Captured, Relocated

By Alyssa Schnugg

News editor

alyssa.schnugg@hottytoddy.com

Mike Merchant captured this pretty girl Friday morning and released her near a national forest. Photo provided

As Oxford continues to grow, the amount of undisturbed land diminishes, leaving animals put out almost as if evicted from their homes.

For the larger animals, like coyotes and foxes, their food also leaves. So what’s a hungry coyote to do?

They wander into Oxford neighborhoods and unfortunately, find their next meal, which is often a cat or smaller dog.

Mike Merchant relocated a pack of coyotes from Tupelo recently.

On Tuesday, the Oxford Animal Resource Center received calls regarding residents seeing coyotes on their home cameras around several Oxford streets, including Price and Sively streets and around Pat Lamar Park.

Their natural habits gone, the city hired Mike Merchant, owner of Wildlife Resolutions, to set traps and have the coyotes relocated.

Merchant told Hotty Toddy News Friday that he placed four traps on Thursday and, as of Friday afternoon, captured one female coyote.

The coyote with the catch pole around it after being removed from the trap. She was then placed into a cage and transported. Photo provided

She was brought to private property near the National Forest and released.

“I can’t legally release them into the National Forest but I have permission from a private property owner near the forest to release them onto their property,”

Merchant is using rubber-lined foothold traps.

He said from the reports he’s received, he estimates there are about 10 in the pack.

“I try to keep the family together,” he said.

The female coyote from Friday morning appeared to be unharmed, in good health and appeared to be at a good weight, he said.

Merchant said he’s been contracted by the city in the past to help with other animals, but this is the first time for coyotes.

Merchant has been a trapper in the state of Mississippi since 1980. As a former employee of the USDA’s Wildlife Services program, he received extensive training and experience in dealing with situations regarding human-wildlife interactions.

***

Merchant demonstrates the foothold trap.

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