Plans by the city of Carson, California, to trap and kill coyotes living in the city’s few remote areas have been frustrated by animal-rights groups and nervous attorneys.
Residents at mobile home parks in the northwestern part of town have complained for months that they feel threatened by the coyotes. Recently, they also reported coyote sightings at the nearby Victoria Golf Course.
“I was chased by a coyote,” said Paul Randall, president of Carson Harbor Village Homeowners Association. “The only thing that kept the coyote from getting to me and my German shepherd was that I was able to get to a two-foot, eight-inch dowel that I have to protect myself. We are prisoners in our homes.”
In February, the city hired Animal Pest Management Services Inc. of Chino to track the coyotes and set snares to trap them. But, before they could begin work, animal rights activists criticized the plan. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Animal Welfare Institute and Project Coyote activists said residents should first try nonlethal methods of deterring coyotes.
An online petition against trapping coyotes in Carson says snare traps are cruel, and dangerous to domestic pets.
“Killing coyotes doesn’t increase public and pet safety – educated coexistence does,” the petition states.
An attorney representing the owner of Carson Harbor Village mobile home park,
where most of the coyote complaints originated, quickly blocked the city from setting any traps on the property. Richard Close, the attorney for park owner James Goldstein, said they are concerned children could get hurt in the traps.