Readers React

Killing coyotes is cruel to coyotes and taxpayers

To the editor: Seal Beach officials chose not to follow the advice of coyote experts and instead proceed with a trapping and gassing program. Four coyotes were randomly trapped and killed — not because they actually attacked pets, but simply because they were coyotes. Seal Beach played judge, jury and executioner. ("In war on coyotes, some argue for learning to live with them," Dec. 17)

Predictably, the strategy proved to be expensive and a poor reflection on the city. So, officials are now willing to listen to those who actually understand coyote behavior.

While environmentally progressive cities understand that they can't kill their way out of wildlife issues, city leaders who don't grasp this concept will often waste taxpayer money and kill some wildlife before ultimately deciding to pursue a plan of education and coexistence.

Maybe we'll learn something from Seal Beach.

Matthew Duncan, Orange

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To the editor: Buried deep inside this article is the entire crux of the matter:

"Conservation expert Robert Crabtree, a University of Montana science professor, said: 'Coyotes define the word 'opportunist.' We kill them … and they rebound just fine to normal numbers. We can't beat them.'"

Morality has nothing to do with this. People need to know about the coyote population's indestructibility.

Coyotes travel in packs, generally, with roaming ones traveling between. You kill one and a loner will fill the space. If there isn't a roamer nearby, the females will have larger litters to fill the gap. Nature is amazing.

So flailing around trying to kill individual coyotes is a waste of time and money. Keep the less brave ones away by hazing, beating on a pan or blowing a horn at them. Keep pet food areas clean and maybe install loud wind chimes and motion-activated lights.

Jennifer A. Zaft, Huntington Beach

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