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Residents dislike wild yard visitors

TNS Regional News • Aug 3, 2015 at 5:07 PM

Wild animals continually emerge from a wooded area behind the yards of many Torrington Drive homes, upsetting residents who don’t enjoy uninvited backyard guests.

“It’s just a mess,” said Ruby Jones, who lives at 235 Torrington Dr., pointing to the dense brush just beyond her back-yard fence.

Ms. Jones put up a wooden fence along the edges of her backyard so she would not have to see the unsightly woods from her back porch. The fence blocks much of the overgrowth, but it does not block the feral cats, groundhogs, raccoons, and opossums from digging and squeezing their way onto her property, she said. She also pointed out a raccoon trap in the back yard of her neighbor Bill Rixey’s home.

According to the Lucas County Auditor’s office, the Inverness Club of Toledo, an Ohio nonprofit corporation that runs the Inverness Country Club of Toledo, owns Parcel 20-00081 located behind the 200 and 300 blocks of Torrington Drive toward Skye Drive. The area, which separates some Torrington homes from the golf course and others from a farm field, is grown out with trees, bushes, weeds, poison ivy, and some dead plants.

“We called Inverness about two weeks ago, and they said they would be sending someone out here to look at it, but no one has come,” said George Hillard, who lives at 421 Torrington Dr. Mr. Hillard has not had animals in his yard, but he has stepped up as a spokesman for his friends on the lower blocks of the street.

Joe Furko, Inverness Club’s general manager, said he was not sure if the club owned that land, but said he would be sending grounds crews to the area to see more specifically what is back there.

“If it’s just underbrush growing up and trees, we will probably just leave it. If there is dead stuff, we will probably clear it up,” he added.

Eric Zgodzinski, director of community and environmental health services at the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, sent two inspectors to the area this week to see if there was anything to be done on the property.

“They didn’t really see an overgrown issue. They are not seeing any major concerns at this point in time,” he said of the sanitarians’ report.

Mr. Zgodzinski said wild animals are not considered a nuisance unless they interact with people.

“Woods are going to carry wild animals. It’s just nature,” he said. “Animals are not dangerous unless you come in contact with them. Most of the time when they see you, wild animals will run the other way,” he said, adding that without seeing the properties, it is hard to determine whether the animals are a nuisance.

Ms. Jones said clearing out some of the woods closest to the Torrington properties would help stop animals from coming onto their property.

“Somebody needs to come in here and push all of this overgrowth back,” Mr. Hillard agreed.

Cutting down or pushing back the overgrowth might not alleviate the situation, however.

“It might help, but it could also disturb a lot of animals and they might try to go find another place to hide — like someone’s back porch,” Mr. Zgodzinski said.

Or, he said, if woods are cut down to grass, an issue with deer ticks could emerge.

To keep away from any dangerous diseases and prevent wild animals from becoming nuisances, Mr. Zgodsinski recommended that residents minimize opportunities for animals to get onto their property, keep garbage cans closed, pick up dog feces from the yard, and never play with or feed the animals.

He also suggested the nuisance wildlife fact sheets on the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website, if any conflicts arise with wildlife.

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By Jillian Kravatz - The Blade, Toledo, Ohio (TNS)

©2015 The Blade (Toledo, Ohio)

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