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Coyote carcasses cause disturbance in Greensprings

A pile of skinned coyotes shocked drivers traveling along Highway 66 near mile marker 11 in the Greensprings this week.

Seven carcasses of what appeared to be mostly coyotes and foxes were dumped along the side of the road, many of them missing their ears and paws.

None of the animals appeared to be domestic animals, said Sgt. Kirk Meyer with the Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division.

Meyer's office received two complaints about the remains, but when investigators checked the scene, they could find no clues pointing to a perpetrator, he said.

Whoever dumped the bodies could be charged with offensive littering, which carries a maximum fine of $1,250 and a requirement to appear in court.

"Coyotes and fox, and most fur-bearers, are not edible, but yeah, it's not really proper to throw them out on the side of the road," he said. "It was definitely very nasty looking."

Any further charges would depend on whether or not those responsible held the proper licenses. Both hunting and trapping requires licensure in the state of Oregon. Coyote hunting season is open year round, but coyote pelts are not particularly valuable, he said.

Complaints of carcasses are common in rural areas, but it is a rare occurrence on such a busy road, Meyer said.

Southern Oregon University student Erin Linton heard about the remains earlier in the week and avoided looking on her drive past that stretch of road on her way to class. She glanced over a little too early, however.

"It's really gross," she said. "I'm just an animal person, so I can't even fathom how you can leave seven animals skinned on the side of the road and cut their paws off. Nobody should desecrate a body like that."

Staff writer Julie French can be reached at 482-3456 ext. 227 or jfrench@dailytidings.com.