SILVIS — Dale and Cam Allensworth are known as concerned citizens in Silvis.
Three doors down from where they live in the 900 block of 10th Street, the neighbors are gone for the winter. Underneath a street light, the couple sees something they just don’t like — coyotes. “There’s a huge streetlight down there, and we will see them playing down in there,” Dale said. “Once in a while I will see them on the trail cam in the neighbor’s yard looking through the fence.”
The couple has alerted the city, and the topic of coyotes is on the public safety agenda for Thursday’s committee meeting. The best that can come out of that meeting is a recommendation to get the topic and a possible solution on the agenda for next Tuesday’s council meeting.
“I just want them to know that they are out there,” Dale said. “We got a wooded timber area behind us; it’s in a ravine. That’s where they are at. We have trouble with coons and others, too, but they are not fretful to us like the coyotes will. Because there have been a few occasions when coyotes do attack humans.”
Cam has even hit one with her car.
They are also concerned about their dogs.
We are concerned about him because he is pretty well blind,” Dale said. “We are out in the backyard and we let him out at night, and we have a high powered spotlight that I scan the fence rows with because a coyote can jump over a fence if he wants.”
His wife has even seen a few videos on Facebook where a coyote will jump up onto a wooden fence and look around, Dale said.
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The couple said aldermen Kathy Hall, Caryn Unsicker and Ian Pavelonis and city clerk Jim Nelson have all been made aware of the situation. Unsicker said the city is looking into it.
“We are not the only ones that have this problem. They are sighted in different areas throughout the city,” Dale said. “What I am concerned about is safety.
The Allensworths don’t shoot the coyotes because that’s against the law in the city limits, Dale said, noting he has called the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“That’s against the rules, and the simple fact is if you shoot one of them and a blood trail comes back to you, they can arrest you,” Dale said, adding that the DNR told them the animals were considered property of the state.
His wife hopes the city handles the problem the way they handled a skunk problem last fall.
“They did a study with the skunks and turned around and hired a trapper,” she said. “Hopefully that’s what they will do.”
City administrator Jim Grafton said the trapper took about four weeks and trapped about 12 skunks. He said the city takes the coyote issue seriously and it likely will be turned over to the community service officer through the city’s police chief. “That’s who we send them to our community service officer,” Grafton said. “I guess it’s that time of year where there’s not a lot of food for (the coyotes). It might just be a seasonal thing."