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      Event raises awareness of coyotes

      Local leaders gathered at the Atlantic Beach Club Tuesday night to warn residents about a growing presence of coyotes.

      The community event was put on by a public information initiative called Coyote Smarts. It's made up of five local organizations: Potter League for Animals, Aquidneck Land Trust, Norman Bird Sanctuary, The Conservation Agency, and RI Natural History Survey. Organizers say the mission is to raise public awareness about coyotes on Aquidneck Island and other areas throughout the state.

      "We've put in a lot of no feeding ordinances and protocols within the police departments for public health and safety," said Christie Smith, Executive Director, Potter League for Animals. "We're trying to educate communities that any kind of accidental or intentional feeding of the coyotes is just attracting them, moving them closer to our homes."

      Funding is being provided by the Prince Charitable Trusts and the Rhode Island Foundation.