By Frank MacEachern
Greenwich is home to thousands of people living on properties that offer solitude from neighbors.
Some neighbors, though, are a constant presence.
In the case of coyotes, Cathie Kovacs of the Wildlife Center of Fairfield County offers a simple message.
“They are not going anywhere so we might as well get used to them, ” she told an audience at a wildlife discussion Sunday.
Greenwich Animal Control, along with the wildlife Center of Fairfield County, held the wildlife education class Sunday at the Greenwich Animal Control facility at 393 North St.
Kovacs, along with Heather Bernatchez from the center, and Greenwich wildlife control officers, spoke at the session and took questions from the audience. Linda Bruno, of Shelter Our Strays, a nonprofit organization that aids the town’s animal control department, said Sunday’s event was part of its educational outreach to the community.
Kovacs and Bernatchez, founding directors of the center, spoke about the need to ensure homes are protected from nesting wildlife.
Bernatchez said ensuring dryer and attic vents are screened, along with covering window wells, will prevent creatures from nesting. Chimneys should only be capped after confirming there isn’t wildlife nesting there, she cautioned. If a cap goes on the animals have no choice but to remain in the house.
Failure to take these precautions often can result in uncomfortable situations.
“Getting a skunk out of a window well usually doesn’t go very well, ” Bernatchez said to audience laughter.
The center has signed a long-term lease with the City of Stamford to use the Red Barn in Mianus River Park to care for injured wildlife.
Fairfield County also is an ideal home for deer, much to the consternation of gardeners.
“They love the wood edge, where the woods stops and opens on to an open area. This is ideal habitat for them, ” Kovacs said. “They have the open area that food thrives in and they have woods that they disappear into. This is essentially every backyard in Fairfield County. We laid the plate out and we try to tell them not to eat, ” she said.
Dagmar and Mike Doll, who live on Stanwich Road, said they attended the session to learn about wildlife, some of which shows up on their property. They said they see raccoon and deer on a regular basis and spotted a coyote about five years ago.
“We do not let our pets out due to the wildlife, ” Mike Doll said. “Every other cat that we have had have been indoor-outdoor cats.”
They both noted that cats and other smaller creatures are prey for coyotes.
“We see signs about a lost cat — the cats don’t get lost, ” Dagmar Doll said as Mike nodded in agreement.