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Seven Coyotes Killed by County in Altadena

A county official gives advice on coyote prevention at the Tuesday Altadena Town Council meeting.

The county has removed and killed seven coyotes from Altadena this summer as an increasing number of pet attacks and coyote sightings have been reported in town.

Raymond Smith, of the county's Weed Hazard and Pest Management Bureau, told the public at Tuesday's Altadena Town Council meeting that the county traps and kills the coyotes when they appear to have become a nuisance in the area.

He said that the county will only target and trap the coyotes when officials believes the level of contact between the public and the animals has become too much of a problem.  In the long term, people need to be prepared to coexist with the animals, he said.

"Nothing that I can do, or the Sheriff’s Department, or anyone else, is going to get rid of them," Smith said.

He said the program to trap and kill the animals will continue until the department believes they are no longer a problem for Altadena residents.


One resident of the Meadows, MaryEllen Schoeman, who is a wildlife rehabilitator, spoke at the meeting against the county's policy.

"Trapping, with all due respect, does not work," Schoeman said.  Once an animal is removed, another animal tends to fill the void, she said.

 "If you are lucky it is another coyote...if you are unlucky it is a mountain lion."

Schoeman, who works at Animal Advocates, told Altadena Patch after the meeting she works rehabilitating coyotes who lose their parents, releasing them in the wild up in the mountains.

An important part of the rehabilitation process is teaching the coyotes to fear humans, which is an unpleasant but necessary task, Schoeman said.

Smith also had the following to say about coyotes:

  • Coyotes that establish a den on a resident's property can be removed by the bureau
  • Residents should strongly discourage or report anybody who is feeding coyotes
  • Residents should not leave out trash or food on their property
  • Pets will not be safe behind fencing unless it is very high.  Six feet is not high enough.
  • Adults should not fear a coyote attack as they only happen in extremely limited circumstances
  • This is an unusually strong year for coyotes in the foothills, and the population levels are high.  Populations tend to be cyclical so it will not remain this way forever
naitiveplantgal August 17, 2011 at 08:13 PM
Mike, one just has to wonder about the environmental disaster 3,000 sheep would cause in the desert....however, if you choose to run 3,000 of one of the most brainless animals on the face of the earth, it is incumbent upon YOU to take measure to guard and protect them. Did you try sheep guardian dogs, or donkeys with the herd? No, probably just easier and more fun to blast away at the coyotes.
naitiveplantgal August 17, 2011 at 08:42 PM
I do not want to minimize the awfulness of having a toddler attacked by a coyote, as it has been documented, but lets put some perspective on this...NEVER let your toddler out of sight if you live in coyote country! Second...I almost guarantee you there is a HUGE difference between the numbers of children attatcked by coyotes...and those attacked and even killed by domestic "family" dogs. As far as I know, it is not legal to go about leg-hold trapping or shooting loose domestic dogs.... Given the potential of a toddler attacked by a coyote in a public park, or a pitbull, i would far rather face-off the coyote than the pitbull.......
doris finch August 17, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Den removal from a yard may be heartless but it is necessary to prevent breeding and training more coyotes centered in a neighborhood rather than the preferred habitat of the mountains. Besides the dangers of habituated animals, does anyone really want a potential mange pit in the back? As for that surrounded Aussie, maybe the coyotes had something else in mind other than dinner. Years ago, when Altadena was a bit more wild and wooly, I had an Aussie who would get out and run with the coyotes at night. They would give him a full greeting ceremony and he would take off with them. I think the sheep dog "eye" fit in well with their hunting plans. From the smell of wild sage and artemesia on him, I knew he had spent the night in the brush with them. I know better now than to be sloppy with gates and doors. Do not try this experiment at home.
lonnie fehr August 17, 2011 at 09:31 PM
http://www.valleywildlifecare.org/Coexisting_with_Coyotes_2PA.php good site explaining ammonia use , prob to work is need to get all home owners try at same time . works for bears also , which has been proven worked up here by cabins .
Lisa Hastings August 17, 2011 at 09:59 PM
Toddlers playing alone in the yard is not a coyote problem.
Lisa Hastings August 17, 2011 at 10:03 PM
The county should be following the advice on that site instead of exterminating the coyotes.
Lisa Hastings August 17, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Coyote rollers: http://coyoteroller.com/home
MaryEllen Schoeman August 17, 2011 at 10:17 PM
Mike, if you killed 30 coyotes every year, and they continued to return in the same numbers, don't you think that maybe killing them wasn't working very well? It's not really solving the problem if you have to keep doing it over and over. I worked in S. Africa with goat and sheep ranchers, teaching them non-lethal methods of predator control. We had one guy who lost 80 lambs, every year, to predators. He had two full-time employees who did nothing but ride around his ranch killing every predator that they saw - and this is Africa, so the predators we are talking about are lion, leopard, hyena, etc. We convinced him to try non-lethal methods of predator control. The first lambing season using those methods? He had *zero* losses. No lambs were killed by predators that year or in any subsequent years. And no predators were killed either. It seems to me that if a bunch of ranchers in Africa can protect large herds of animals against lions and leopards, a bunch of pet owners in Altadena should be able to get their act together enough to protect their pets against coyotes.
Joan Collazo August 17, 2011 at 10:30 PM
I was just wondering... does a female dog in heat attract coyotes? Since there seems to be a population explosion of small dogs in the area (just check out PHS website), could some of the coyote behavior concerning small dogs be related?
Chris August 17, 2011 at 11:40 PM
I should have known better than to post to one of these threads, there are always morons with nothing better to do than to throw out insults. I know damn well going out there with a shotgun isn't smart or legal, I would never do anything to jeopardize anyone or their property and I do know the range of the birdshot in my gun. I feel so enlightened now that I was made aware that my dog is actually an animal and not a girl.......sheesh, I do need to get the heck out of here, too many pinheads!
yeahian August 18, 2011 at 03:02 AM
Chris sounds like a responsible gun owner. He was in control of the weapon and did not use it because he could not do so safely. What he was doing I believe was also legal as he was defending his property. In Oregon if your dog goes onto a cattle ranch the rancher can legally shoot the dog. I would assume the law in CA is somewhat similiar. If a stray dog comes onto your prop. and is vicious I believe your within ur rights to kill it. Coyotes are sure doing a poopy job at controling squirrel population. Also the comment about there are no predators wwhere there is no prey is not really applicable as coyote are omnivores. And eliminating all of their prey would involve a lot of killing.
yeahian August 18, 2011 at 03:05 AM
Also the cpyote roller come on that is just stupid it kept a medium dog out big deal.
yeahian August 18, 2011 at 03:05 AM
sorry stupid was a bit strong.
Chris August 18, 2011 at 04:48 AM
Thank you, Yeahian.
Chris August 18, 2011 at 04:49 AM
By the way, nothing can catch a Squirrel, not even a cat!
henry eroh August 18, 2011 at 05:38 AM
get punkin balls they have a little more range- if you hit an animal with that it is dead no question about it. All these do-gooders will shout against this but let me tell you If zI have them close to me they will be killed as well as alligators- snakes and the such- If they want to enjoy them kill them and stuff them and put them behind glass- Yrs ago I would go fishing off coast of N.C. and trust me any shark caught was killed and if even seen had a rifle and killed quite a few of them-. Love the show about alligator hunting only season to short- should be year round.
henry eroh August 18, 2011 at 05:40 AM
might not be rattlesnakes fault but trust me it will become dead very quickly- have no qualms about killing snakes as any seen get the death treatment and the more painful the better.
Bright eyes August 18, 2011 at 06:43 AM
I hope am never in a town meeting with none of you..... It was mentioned that this year was an abundance of coyote sightings and killings. Therefore it needs to be addressed and handled for the sake and safety of the community. Prior to this the residents have co-existed with the animals of the wild, this current situation was handled to protect all. We need to thank those who have addressed the problem and tried to handle it the best way to protect the community.
yeahian August 18, 2011 at 08:43 AM
I'd be interested in the locations of the killings?
Ninja Girl August 18, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Chris my german shepherd has caught many squirrels, and rats.
Chris August 18, 2011 at 08:13 PM
I'm so done with this.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) August 21, 2011 at 04:09 PM
This comment is from reader Marcia DeRousse who emailed it in: "I had coyotes jump my 5 ft fence and chase me, beginning in April. I am a disabled little woman, and would definitely be considered prey to them. If I had been taken seriously at the time I reported this, I imagine the many, many pets- cats and dogs- that were eaten would still be alive, and those hearts broken would be whole. Also, an elderly man near the Rose Bowl was walking his dogs, and a coyote pack attacked them, ate the dogs, knocked the man down and he had to hav emajor surgery at Huntington for head trauma. I am all for animal rights. But right now, it seems human and domestic animal rights need to be considered as well. Trapping and euthanizing the rogue coyotes is necessary at this point. There are too many of them, and they have no natural predators to thin them out. Are we, the people being chased by and hurt by coyotes less important than the coyotes, who are flea infested, probably disease infested, and hungry because their population is too large?"
SteveB August 21, 2011 at 04:52 PM
To more or less repeat a post I left on another article, one aspect of "the problem" not discussed much is that coyotes can be carriers of disease. My folks (in Orange County) recently had a pair make a den in their backyard. County animal health providers there said their policy is to do nothing, they let them be. There was a resulting flea infestation, and my mother recently had a rash outbreak - she is now being treated for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Three of the four pups were found sick/dying/dead. The one picked up by animal control which was still alive - he said they would try and rehabilitate it and release it elsewhere ... Note, my parents live in the heart of suburbia, surrounded by miles of tract homes. This is not a fringe wilderness area - these are the definition of urban coyotes.
Lisa Hastings August 21, 2011 at 05:40 PM
Rumors abound. Next we will hear about chupacabra attacks. @Dan. I find the coyote pack attacking the man and eating his dogs not credible. It is contrary to everything the experts have reported about coyote behavior. I would like to see more details. Was it reported in the media? When did this alleged attack occur? With all the coyote reports on the internet, why wasn't this particular attack reported? Also, standard fences are not 5 foot fence; they are usually 6 feet. @SteveB. It makes no sense that someone would allow coyotes to stay in their yard. And, by the way, fleas do not carry Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
SteveB August 21, 2011 at 06:01 PM
My folks wanted the coyotes out - the County (Orange) said no, they are part of the natural environment - they would not move/relocate the den. I thought ticks were the only carriers of Rocky Mountain Spotted fever as well, but my mom's heathcare provider said fleas can transmit the disease as well. If it is indeed only carried by ticks, then perhaps it was spread by a tick bite and not a flea bite. We just know the backyard was hopping with fleas - we did not observe any ticks.
Dan Abendschein (Editor) August 21, 2011 at 06:44 PM
Lisa, I'm not sure. I posted this comment from a user who tried to log in and could not leave a comment so it is not something I have verified or am reporting as truth. That said, I followed up with an email to her and she tells me she did report the incident and the Pest Management bureau came out and found the coyotes and deemed them to be a threat (to pets at the very least). Very likely these were some of the seven that the Pest Mangement rep mentioned that the article refers to. I'm still trying and hoping to get more information on the program in general.
yeahian August 21, 2011 at 07:57 PM
Why do you say that. No one hasgiven any info on the kill sites...
Sunny Murchison August 25, 2011 at 10:21 PM
Martina, Rest assured, coyotes are opportunists. They will kill your dog and not even eat it or take its body away. Just plain kill it. My Min Pin Lil Sunny Lee was brutally killed by out of control urban coyotes June 30, 2011. Yes, it was I who called virtually every TV station as well as radio to share with the media to help the innocent public of these marauding coyotes. God bless you and yours and your little Odie. Sunny Murchison
Catherine Addé November 02, 2011 at 03:08 PM
well said.
henry eroh November 03, 2011 at 12:55 AM
If coyote came into my yard and I saw it - it is DEAD plain and simple - which goes for any other predator- snakes-alligators bobcats and such- if you want to see them kill them all and stuff them then put them behind glass

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