Sunday 16 May 2021

Hungry coyotes roam the TEC campus in Cartago

The animals take advantage of the solitude of facilities due to pandemic; University requested support from Sinac, which promised to install traps to catch them and relocate them where they do not pose a risk

QCOSTARICA – In recent weeks coyotes have been seen roaming the TEC campus in Cartago, hungry and looking for food, especially on the shore of the lake, because that is where they catch domestic ducks that also get to frolic in the waters.

For several weeks, coyotes have been seen on the TEC campus, in Cartago. Photo: Fernando Gutiérrez.

Their presence has become frequent. They take advantage of the low presence of people in the university facilities, since a large part of the employees are teleworking and students taking virtual classes due to the pandemic.

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This university formally requested help from the National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac), to trap the animals and relocate them in places where they do not pose a risk to people and where they are protected.

The main campus of the Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica (TEC) is located in the center of the city of Cartago, in the province of the same name, one kilometer south of the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles.

Coyotes have also been seen in other parts of the Old Metropolis, as Cartago is often referred to.

“We do not want to kill or mistreat the coyotes,” said the head of General Services at the TEC, Aarón Román, who confirmed that the animals are hungry.

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“This is the first time such a situation has arisen on campus,” he said.

In a bulletin posted on the official TEC website, Jerson Hernández Rojas, coordinator of the Security and Surveillance Unit, has seen up to six coyotes in recent weeks.

Although their presence has been common in other years, this time is different because have also been seen during the day.

“Campus closes at 6 pm and it is at night when the coyotes come out. But we always advise caution, especially those who use the facilities for sports. What we recommend is that they do not go running in the woods, that they limit themselves to the sidewalks and streets, to be safer,” Hernández said on the official TEC website.

Specialists consider that the human invasion of the natural habitats of coyotes partly explains their presence in the vicinity of residential areas.

It is not the first time that wild animals have come to the city in search of food. Coyotes and even pumas have been seen roaming urbanized areas in various communities around the country. Photo: Fernando Gutiérrez

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“The coyote has adapted to these types of areas. They have that affinity for open areas because normally their diet is rabbits, smaller species, even rodents,’ said at the time, Kevin Lloyd, a biologist from the National University.

With the pandemic, the decrease in the mobility of people and the closures of national parks has attracted animals to populated areas or areas with a greater presence of humans.


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