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California

Seal Beach will start killing coyotes after dozens of pet deaths

Seal Beach City Council members on Monday approved a plan to immediately start trapping and euthanizing coyotes, which residents say have become too brazen after killing dozens of pets.

A group of them held a candlelight vigil outside City Hall before the council meeting to remember their pets, some of them taken by coyotes before their very eyes.

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FOR THE RECORD

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An earlier version of this post misspelled Vicki Young’s first name as Vicky.

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Vicki Young, a resident at Leisure World, told KTLA-TV how a coyote followed her back inside her home after taking the trash out to snatch her small dog.

“When I turned around, the coyote had her in his mouth and he was running out the door,” Young said. “She died. He ate her.”

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One by one, emotional residents took to the podium at the City Council meeting to relay similar horror stories and call for action. When all was said and done, the council voted to approve a community task force recommendation to trap and euthanize the coyotes.

“I’m for trapping them,” said Councilman Gary Miller, who voted in favor of the measure. “I think the people have suffered long enough.”

The task force also recommended the city clean up overgrown areas where coyotes take shelter, mandate that all trash cans be covered and impose fines of up to $100 on residents who directly or indirectly feed the animals.

The plan, though, is not without detractors.

Tim Revell, a Mount San Antonio College professor who sat on the task force, argued during a meeting Friday that trapping the coyotes was a shortsighted, misguided response that could backfire.

Weaker coyotes that pose less of a problem tend to be the ones that get caught up in the traps, leaving larger packs of smarter, more aggressive coyotes, said Revell, who holds a degree in biology with an emphasis on animal behavioral ecology.

The action plan comes after a heated community meeting two weeks ago, during which angry residents heckled local officials who suggested using everything from wasp spray to golf clubs as deterrents.

But residents said the coyotes had become too brazen, coming into yards and approaching dog walkers.

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For those like Young who lost their pets to the predatory canines, enough was enough.

“I haven’t gotten over it and I’m not sure that I will, because she was my constant companion,” Young said.

Times Community News writer Harold Pierce contributed to this report.


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