Please Rethink Trapping and Killing Coyotes

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We were shocked and saddened to read about the plan to trap and kill coyotes in Laguna Beach in a response to the increase in family pets being killed (“Laguna Targets Pregnant Coyotes,” Dec. 24 edition).  The most notable was the dog who was snatched up because a door was left open in the house.

Instead of eradicating animals that are a nuisance to us, the residents of Laguna Beach need to have awareness and education that this is happening.  I’ve only seen a few hand made paper flyers nailed to telephone poles warning people about the coyotes.  Whatever the budget is for trapping, killing and disposing of the coyotes, I would like to recommend that money be spent on signs placed throughout residential neighborhoods warning of the problem.

People with animals are responsible for keeping them in at night and watching them while they are outside.  Letting them loose in a fenced yard isn’t protective enough for them at this time.  And putting food and water outside their homes is an invitation for them to visit.

Coyotes have been here longer than us folks and we pretty much built up their natural habitat.  They are coming out of the hills in search of food and water; they have been as impacted by the drought as we all have been. Please rethink this idea and consider educating the residents about being responsible for their pets.

Tim and Jeannie Richardson, Laguna Beach

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  1. New science is emerging about coyotes. If it is true, our archaic policies of management must be reviewed. The natural order of their behavior is becoming more understood and the meaning of how this relates to living in harmony with the fact that coyotes are here to stay.

    Current ideas suggest that allowing coyotes to establish Alpha based packs that are sustainably matched to existing habitats will stop most negative issues currently being experienced. Coyotes mate for life and the Alpha adults will set limits and territories based on a balanced level of available food and range. Litter sizes seem to be matched to sustainability and a self governing system of Alpha pack cooperation appears to set in.

    Since there is no identification of the coyotes taken and killed, Alpha leaders are culled and younger, less experienced animals gain status they are not prepared to handle. Without Alpha guidance or pack experience they can run amok and act erratically. Lacking peers to learn from they tend to do more harm and mischief and will mate prematurely and produce larger litters of pups. This seems to generate needs that exceed the available resources of their environment. No sooner will an Alpha pair begin to establish natural order, and they are killed, removing all chance for maturity to take hold.

    This is a basic thought that must be considered when it’s apparent that coyotes are much smarter than most people realize. We have lots of coyotes in Joshua Tree and they have created few problems. Most follow regular routes and routines. There is no fear among the citizens but we do know that prudent pet management and backyard animal husbandry is mandatory. Tom in Joshua Tree

  2. I am going to repost the comment I posted on the previous article about coyotes because my message is the still the same. v v v

    I think its clear that the voices of a few angry people are louder than the rest of us, who understand that killing coyotes is NOT the answer. I hope our voices are loud enough to prevent this mistake from happening.

    I have always admired the cunning and clever Coyote. They are adaptable and amazing creatures, and they are important even in our urban areas. Science tells us that no matter how much control we as humans attempt, coyotes are here to stay. They have an amazing ability to increase their litter sizes to the area’s carrying capacity when the population is low. Therefore, coyote “control” efforts come out to be futile. And the captured coyotes lose their lives because of it. That doesn’t sound smart, now does it? To me that sounds foolish and cruel. Fun fact: Coyotes mate for life 🙂

    On top of that, until coyote population numbers rebound, the consequences of coyote control are a huge problem in itself with an excess number of mice, rats, & other rodents.

    The best we can do is keep our small pets inside and supervise them outside. Remove attractants from our homes. Haze coyotes when we see them to help them keep a healthy fear of people. Healthy coyotes do not pose a risk to humans, but that doesn’t mean that everyone shouldn’t still supervise small children. Our best plan of attack is education and understanding. Hopefully one day more people will understand that we as humans are not separate from nature, and our actions on nature have a cascading effect on everything else and end up affecting us too. We need to learn how to bend and work with nature, not against it. Let our voices be louder than the ones spreading false information, fear, and ignorance. Thanks everyone 🙂


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