Be nicer to coyotes?

September 19, 2014

Consider the poor coyote. He’s on the losing end of every encounter with the Roadrunner. He’s labeled a shoot-on-sight varmint by every hunter in Texas. And he’s hated and even feared as a “cat-napper” who preys on family pets in the dark of night.

But wait. There is a voice of reform that is starting to be heard in the land calling for a more humane treatment of coyotes. And it may result in new policies being considered by the Austin City Council in the next few months.

It started with a complaint from Travis Heights residents who had spotted coyotes in the Blunn Creek watershed. The residents feared for their safety and the safety of school children who use a nearby park.

Several City Council members referred the matter to the Austin Animal Advisory Commission, said David Lungstedt, commission chair. Last December, the Humane Society of the United States sent a representative to Austin to meet with the commission, and a new plan for the treatment of coyotes began to take shape.

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