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October 7 2012

Coyotes may be start of larger urban carnivore trend


First it was foxes, skunks and raccoons. Now coyotes are setting up shop in increasing numbers within urban settings in North America. Are larger carnivores next?

A professor of wildlife ecology at Ohio State University says urban coyotes, the largest of the mid-size carnivores, may be setting the stage for their larger brethren to start migrating to cities.

"They're the ones that are kind of pushing the envelope right now," Stan Gehrt said, suggesting animals like bears, wolves and mountain lions may be next.

"It used to be rural areas where we would have this challenge of co-existence versus conflict with carnivores," said Gehrt, who gave a talk on the topic Friday at a conference in Columbus, Ohio.

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