By BRANDON CARTE
He grabbed his .22-caliber rifle to shoot and kill the animal.
Papenfuss lives next to the Firelands Electric building on Columbus Avenue. A small creek flows through his yard, with some tall bushes and trees combining to create a curious mix of city and country life.
Tuesday morning, he was smoking a cigarette as he looked out the second-foor window of his home. He said he caught a glimpse of the animal on his lawn.
“I saw it about a week before, late at night, but it got away,” he said.
A recreational hunter, he quickly grabbed his rifle and shot from the window. The 35-pound female coyote was stopped dead in her tracks.
This certainly wasn't the first time a coyote has been spotted in a residential area. In March, Richard Broski called Perkins police after his daughter let out her small dog at her Lake Court home.
According to a police report, the dog was headed back into the home, but it then turned and bolted for the tree line. "The small dog was attacked by a coyote (and) was taken to the Elyria Animal Hospital and later passed away,” the report said.
Kevin Newsome, wildlife officer supervisor for the state’s division of wildlife, said coyotes are opportunistic feeders — they'll go for the easiest possible meal.
“Coyotes are in all 88 counties in Ohio and they do well in both metropolitan and rural areas,” Newsome said. “It’s nothing new for someone to see a coyote, whether it’d be in a suburb or city setting.”
Perkins police Chief Ken Klamar said it is somewhat unique for people to see coyotes in the township's more populated areas.
“Any kind of wild animal that someone may encounter may pose a risk,” Klamar said. “If we get a call in an area where the animal is posing a threat to the safety of the resident, we would do whatever we need to do to make sure the threat is eliminated.”
Paul Kurfis, district law supervisor for the Ohio Division of Wildlife, said residents have little to worry about when it comes to coyotes.
“Attacks on people are extremely rare,” he said. “When you hear them howling, it isn’t like there is a pack just waiting to hunt people down.”
Residents who spot a coyote should bring any pets inside, and then call the police, Klamar said.
To prevent coyotes from venturing onto your property, your garbage cans should have lids that are secured by bungee cords, and you shouldn't leave food outside, Kurfis said.