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Do Not Feed The Coyotes

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Date: October 29, 2013
Contact: George E. Price, Jr., Superintendent, 508-957-0701

Superintendent George Price requests the support of the public to stop feeding coyotes and other wild animals in the national seashore. This fall has brought an unexpected problem to national seashore beaches when it was observed that visitors are regularly feeding coyotes at the Herring Cove North parking lot in Provincetown. As many as nine coyotes were recently observed begging at cars parked at sunset. Apparently a number of people decided to feed the coyotes which have taught them to gather at the parking lot at sunset. Feeding wild animals in a national park is illegal, is detrimental to the wild animals and will develop into a dangerous situation for visitors and their children and pets. People who continue to feed the animals will be subject to a fine.

Wild animals, such as these coyotes, quickly learn to associate people with food. The coyotes begin to rely on human food, which is less nutritious than their natural diet of mice and small mammals. This is also true when people feed the Canada geese at Beech Forest, or leave pet food out at night for other critters. We are not doing them any favors, even if it makes us feel better.

Many communities have learned that feeding coyotes has led to dangerous encounters with humans.There are dozens of documented instances where coyotes became aggressive and seriously injured people and killed pets. Once coyotes have lost their fear of humans, some confront people and even stalk and maul small children and pets.

Because of the recent increase in the feeding activity, informational signs will be posted; park rangers will continue to patrol the Province Lands and Herring Cove area and try to disperse the coyotes with non-lethal methods. Aggressive animals may need to be destroyed.

Price said that he wants people to understand and comply with this request. "We do not want anyone hurt, and do not want to put these animals in a hazardous situation because of uninformed human actions," he said.

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Did You Know?

Wellfleet kettle ponds

Although the kettle ponds within Cape Cod National Seashore are within 2.5 km of the ocean and have been subjected to thousands of years of salt spray, they remain low in dissolved salts. Ponds are flushed out by inflowing and outflowing groundwater, which prevents salts from accumulating.