Letter to the Editor

We've helped coyotes acclimate to our surroundings

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

To the Editor:

In response to the Feb. 9 article about coyotes:

Most coyote problems are caused by people feeding coyotes, either intentionally or unintentionally.

Although "no-feeding ordinances" and fines can help draw attention to the problem, they are rarely effective deterrents.

Residents need to learn the importance of keeping cats indoors and not leaving dogs outside unattended. Remove attractants such as pet food, unsecured garbage, fallen fruit and improperly contained compost piles.

When coyotes do not run away when approached or charged by a human, they are probably "habituated" to people. Habituated coyotes may even approach people looking for food handouts.

Coyotes in nature eat rodents and take deer, thereby thinning the herd naturally.

Hazing is an activity or series of activities conducted to re-instill the natural fear of humans back into coyotes. It is often as simple as making yourself loud (by yelling or using homemade noisemakers) and making yourself large (by standing tall and waving your arms).

Communities, including Denver, Vancouver and Los Angeles, have successfully used hazing to reverse undesirable behavior in their coyote populations.

Learn more at www.humanesociety.org/animals/coyotes/tips/techniques-toresolve_coyote_conflicts.

Harold Wilson