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Is the fisher a furry friend or foe to suburbia?

After the incident, Champagne said he bought a roll of wire fencing and covered the cage completely.

Unfortunately, Champagne said, two days later, he and his wife awoke to find the bunnies had been killed.

"The fisher managed to come around the next night, and he dug under the hole," he said.

Champagne notified Colonie Animal Control officials, who then told him more about fishers and where they have been spotted in the town.

Stone said fishers are not new to the area.

"They were here before us," he said.

He said fishers were a native species in the Pine Bush area and parts of Colonie and Albany, and as people settled in the area, they cut down the trees that the fishers typically climb and hide in.

Stone said there was a movement to extricate the fisher from the area, but the animals began to pop up again in the Adirondacks about 30 years ago. He also said now they are reproducing and once again populating the area.

"They've greatly expanded their range," he said. "Forty or 50 years ago it would be extremely rare that any would be seen in the area." Now, he estimated that there are a few hundred.

Stone described them as having long, dark tails and short ears.

On a typical basis, fishers would not come near people, Stone said, however, should a fisher be acting abnormal and staying particularly close to people, people should be wary of rabies.

Stone said people should be happy that these animals have decided to live among us.

"It's nice that we're able to share the earth with a wide variety of life," he said. "The animal to worry the most about is us. We are the most dangerous animals on the planet, including to ourselves."

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