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Here's the Poop on What's Roaming in Hoffman Park

Telltale signs show that coyote, fox and deer range Hoffman Park in Cary.

Don’t think of them as landmines. Think of them as points of interest.

Daytime sightings of coyote, fox and deer in Cary’s  are rare, but watch your step because the paved path there — more than a mile long — is riddled with the droppings of wild animals.  

It could be fun to try and identify one pile of droppings, or scat, from another.

The nocturnal inhabitants have been marking their territory for years on this bucolic 265 acres southwest of East Main Street and Georgetown Drive, which is open to humans from dawn to dusk.

Some people make a living studying animal scat. And for some people it could be a hobby, like bird watching.

According to The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals, trackers and biologists can determine a lot about individual animals by the condition of their scat.

For example, when foxes eat berries, it can darken their scat.

The droppings of a coyote are “typically canine,” but often full of hair and deposited along a habitually used hunting trail. Color and consistency can change with diet.

Deer often leave behind deer scat as small, marble-sized pellets.

With the recent opening of an exclusive, members-only area for walking dogs, Hoffman Park is seeing more visits.

New to the park is an amenity called Mutt Mitts, which make it easier to pick up after pets.

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