WE NEED A PROACTIVE SOLUTION TO MONTEREY PARK'S COYOTE PROBLEM
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Countless pets in Monterey Park have gone missing or are found dead, in parts, and are barely recognizable. Coyotes are no longer afraid of humans and will brazenly attack pets as the owners look on in horror. Many of these cases are reported to animal control but many more are not for a variety of reasons. Neither municipal officials nor Animal Control have approved, launched or implemented any coyote control methods or programs that address the increasing number of attacks on pets in our city. When Animal Control is called, the officers are understanding and mean well but unfortunately, can do nothing when it comes to the coyotes themselves. They are very helpful with providing tips and information but that's the extent of it. The confines of our own backyards or at the end of leashes should not be dangerous or fatal places for our pets. Residents have been told the following for a year or more by Animal Control officers responding to coyote reports: “Data is tracked so we can gain a better understanding of the coyote’s movements and behavioral patterns as we work to manage the…problem”. In the meantime, how many generations of coyotes have been born? How many pets were tragically slaughtered while all this data gathering was taking place? What is it going to take to prompt city officials into taking action? An attack on a small child? The elderly? The disabled? If vicious pit bulls were roaming our streets killing our pets, Animal Control would not hesitate in dealing with the problem. Why is the capture and relocation, sterilization or euthanizing (as a last resort) of coyotes such a taboo topic?
Experts agree that coyote behavior is rapidly and radically changing. Gone are the emaciated, mangy and skittish animals of past decades. News reports document many attacks on people which have occurred in recent years. According to Niamh Quinn, an ecologist with the UC Cooperative Extension/Agricultural who is studying coyote interactions in Southern California. “We’re seeing an increased frequency in [human] bites (in Southern California) during 2015 and 2016”. By all logic, the number will continue to rise because officials are not taking the steps necessary to curb the increase in population. Additionally, Los Angeles County Public Health statistics also show a rise in coyote bites on humans countywide during the first seven months of 2016. Most of these attacks are unprovoked and traditional hazing techniques are beginning to become ineffective. According to Quinn, as coyotes get used to hazing techniques, and realize humans are little to no threat, they will become less and less responsive to hazing. When coyotes become too familiar with humans, other experts agree, hazing no longer works.
In July and August of 2016, three attacks occurred at Grant Rea Park in Montebello. All were considered unprovoked according to Andrew Hughan, information officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Montebello is our neighboring city. Coyote territory can extend up to 10 square miles. Similarly, just a few weeks ago, a little boy was attacked at bitten at Cal State L.A. Police shot the animal as he seemed to be charging towards a woman, but the animal escaped. In this instance, not only was the boy hurt, so was the coyote who probably had a long and agonizing death. All that could have been avoided if the population had been under control. For us, these incidents are entirely too close for comfort. Our most vulnerable citizens are at risk, not to mention threatening the lives of our pets.
As residents of Monterey Park, we are respectively and emphatically requesting your immediate attention to the coyote problem in our city. To not do so, directly violates Monterey Park Municipal Codes, Title 8 - Animals. 8.01.080 states, “Any animal (or animals) which molests passersby or passing vehicles, attacks other animals, trespasses on school grounds, is repeatedly at large, damages or trespasses on private or public property, barks, whines or howls in an excessive, continuous or untimely fashion, is a public nuisance.” 8.01.130 states, “The police chief is authorized and empowered to humanely destroy any animal because it is suffering….,or is vicious or dangerous.” And 8.01.140 goes on to say, “The police chief is authorized to use immobilization equipment in accordance with applicable law. Also, 8.01.-60 states, “No condition will be maintained or permitted that is or could be injurious to the animals.
We are also requesting that all data gathered during 2016-2017 by Animal Control regarding coyotes in Monterey Park be shared with the community and published for all to review.
Furthermore, we’re requesting the city coordinate and institute an aggressive educational campaign for residents in all applicable languages, discussing steps to take to deter coyotes from entering their property. Unfortunately, efforts so far have been less than successful.
Finally, and most importantly, we are demanding that the City and Animal Control in conjunction with state, local and private agencies, devise and institute a workable and humane course of action to actively and rapidly reduce the coyote population in our neighborhoods. While we are NOT advocating the wanton killing of coyotes nor the utilization of inhumane methods to control the population, we are demanding that humane methods be put into effect such as relocation and/or sterilization, the Collarum® Live Trap, etc.. Enough data has been gathered. It's time to institute a viable plan in our wonderful city.
Residents of Monterey Park.
1.“When is it OK to kill a coyote?”, San Diego Union Tribune by Deborah Sullivan Brennan, Feb. 6, 2016
2.“What experts are doing about the increasing number of coyote attacks on humans in LA County”, The Daily Breeze, by Donna Littlejohn, Sept. 6, 2017
3.“Coyote Attacks on Pets In and Around Los Angeles County,” https://asgvets.com/coyote-attacks-safety-tips/ by Brittany Jean Carr, DVM
4.“Coyote Facts, California Nature Mapping Program”, http://naturemappingfoundation.org/natmap/ca/facts/mammals/coyote.html
5.“The Coyote and People: Coyote Attacks, DesertUSA.com
6.“Coyote attacks force closure of Montebello park: 'People are not food for coyotes”, L.A. Times, by Erica Evans, August 9, 2016
7.“Keep Me Wild: Coyote”, California Department of Fish and Game, https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Coyote
8. "Campus officer shoots, wounds coyote at Cal State L.A. after it bites small boy, officials”, Los Angeles Times, 3/15/2018
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