Coyote-Control Test Delayed in Starting

Councilman Barry L. Denes is demanding to know why an experiment using lithium chloride to control the local coyote population has not begun. Denes has scheduled a discussion of the issue at tonight’s City Council meeting.

In May, Dr. Stuart Ellins, a Cal State San Bernardino professor, received state approval to begin his experiment designed to prevent coyotes from entering residential neighborhoods and eating pets.

His plan is to lace dog and cat carcasses with lithium chloride, which if eaten by coyotes, would result in nausea and vomiting. The theory is that if the coyotes get sick eating the baited food, it might serve as a way to get the coyotes to hunt wild food sources.

Ellins would not receive pay for his work, but the city would reimburse him for expenses.


City Manager Fred Maley said the delay in starting is due to a lack of volunteers. Maley said that members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) offered to assist Ellins but that not enough volunteers have come forward.

Jane Garrison, PETA campaign coordinator, said the group still wants to help with the experiment and will get the necessary volunteers.

Ellins said Monday that he needs at least five volunteers to commit up to two hours a week.

“I’ve been ready to go for a long time” with the experiment, Ellins said. “This research authorization is up in November, and if we wait any longer, it’s going to be too late.”


Denes said he is only willing to give the experiment a certain amount of time.

“If we can’t come up with some agreement with an implementation schedule, I’m ready to go back to our original plan, which was to trap and destroy them,” he said.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers, 17855 Santiago Blvd. Information: (714) 998-1500.