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County officials to hold off on possibly trapping, euthanizing coyote pack

September 13, 2011|By Mark Kellam, mark.kellam@latimes.com
  • County officials will use a similar device to trap and euthanize coyotes at the abandoned home. (Photo by The Los Angeles Times)
County officials will use a similar device to trap and…

Following public outcry, L.A. County officials put the brakes on a plan to catch and kill a pack of resident coyotes in north Glendale, with officials saying they will wait to take action until a vacant home is demolished.

County officials said the coyotes posed a threat to pets and small children and needed to be euthanized. The pack would not survive if relocated in the wild, officials said.

But reaction to the plan was overwhelmingly negative, with county and city officials fielding calls opposing the plans.

Glendale Deputy City Atty. Yvette Neukian, who met Tuesday with Brett van den Berg, owner of the fire-gutted house on Brockmont Drive, said the demolition of the structure would begin within a week.

Because the coyotes have not been aggressive and neighbors are taking precautions against attracting coyotes, officials think the pack will move on once the house is torn down, said Ken Pellman, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures.

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“In this situation, it looks like trapping will not be necessary,” Pellman said.

County officials have been working with neighbors to make sure they clear brush, so wild animals can’t establish dens, said city spokesman Tom Lorenz. They’ve also been instructed to not leave pet food outside, secure trash cans and make sure fruits trees are picked regularly.

Having a fire-damaged vacant house in a neighborhood is like an “oasis” for wild animals, said Anna Reams, director of Wildlife Care of Ventura County, who went to the North Glendale neighborhood Tuesday to pass out brochures about coexisting with coyotes.

“People are the problem,” Reams said.

When humans encounter coyotes, they typically retreat, which sends the wrong signal, she said.

“When you see them, start being proactive. Spray them with a hose. Make loud noises,” she said. “You empower them if you go in the house.”

She pointed out that coyotes are innately scared of humans, but that fear subsides if humans walk away or, worse yet, feed them.

“They become desensitized,” Reams said.

If the coyotes inhabiting the Brockmont Drive neighborhood were to be trapped and killed, it would just make room for more coyotes, she said.

Coyotes also do not like change, so once the vacant house is gone, the coyotes will probably leave, she added.

County officials said they will re-evaluate the situation after the house is demolished.
 
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FOR THE RECORD: This story has been updated from an earlier version.

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