Cliff the coyote is still on the run throughout Newport and Middletown, but chances are increasing that his days on Aquidneck Island will soon come to an end.
Due to the enormous amount of support and public outcry for Cliff last week, Councilman Florez asked Middletown Police Department and Middletown Town Council for 3-5 days to raise funds to tranquilize and transport Cliff. At that time, Councilor Florez stated that he had made arrangement with a Massachusetts zoo and he created a GoFundMe page to aid in the campaign with the goal of $8,000.
Newport City Councilman John Florez toldThe Newport Daily News on Tuesday that the invitation from the Massachusetts zoo appears to be off the table and that Roger Williams Park Zoo lacks a suitable enclosure for the coyote, and building one would cost about $100,000.
“We are working with the DEM and the Buttonwood Zoo. The goal is to find a permanent home there. The zoo originally rejected the proposition, following that we tried to get him into the Roger Williams zoo. That plan failed, Roger Williams rejected The idea of creating an exhibit for him. After which, the Buttonwood Zoo that we originally were in discussions with is now entertaining the idea of having him as a permanent guest. I’ll continue to keep everyone posted,” Councilor Florez said in response to the following post on our Facebook page on Tuesday.
Councilor Florez was asked and answered the following six questions for What’sUpNewp on Tuesday night;
What zoo in Massachusetts was contacted last week?
“We are in talks at the moment with Buttonwood Zoo.”
What was the invitation, deal or agreement from said zoo?
“Those details are being negotiated at the moment between DEM and Numi’s organization (The Narragansett Bay Coyote Study).”
Where did the $8,000 quote to capture and move him come from?
“The transportation, tranquilizers, sharp shooter fee. This is a rough estimate that is probably on the low side. We have private investors who have committed to paying any additional cost such as the cost of a possible coyote exhibit for the zoo.”
What’s the timeline to find Cliff a home before other options to remove him from the area need to be taken?
“This timeline has not been established. The police Chief has been very cooperative. Everything is in forward motion and I expect to have a resolution very soon.”
What’s the plan with the $7,700 that was raised through fundraiser if it is not used to remove cliff?
“ALL funds raised will be donated to Numi’s group and help create an awareness program in Middletown and Newport. The public needs to be educated on the dangers of leaving garbage out. The proliferation of these creatures is a real concern.”
Can you explain this text that was included on the fundraising page further? “Members of the Newport and Middletown Councils have pledged to use this situation to raise awareness on this issue but also to pass legislation that will ultimately reduce the population of coyotes on Aquidneck Island.”
“Both Councils need to meet with “coyote groups/experts” and take their recommendations on what if any legislation could be passed that will help minimize coyote populations. Some groups have pushed extermination programs which are inhumane and short-sighted.”