Saturday, January 31, 2009

LA Animal Services responds to LA Times article "Tracking the City Coyote"

The following message is from Officer Greg Randall, LA Animal Services' Wildlife Specialist

In the days following the LA Times article "Tracking the City Coyote" (January 27), LA Animal Services has received a flurry of calls from upset Angelenos concerned that the City of Los Angeles contracted a wildlife trapper to track down and kill urban coyotes. This belief no doubt stemmed from a photo depicting a coyote in Griffith Park over the statement, "Trapper Jimmie Rizzo is hired to help keep kids and pets safe from the predator, but more say the method is cruel."

The City of Los Angeles did not hire Mr. Rizzo or Animal Pest Management. Despite the unfortunately misleading photo and caption, the article does make clear that the trapping is taking place at the Huntington Library in San Marino, CA, outside the jurisdiction of the City of Los Angeles.

LA Animal Services’ policy is to take an educational approach to wildlife encounters. We encourage residents to employ deterrents, property alterations and the reduction of wildlife temptations like food, water and shelter, rather than use a pest control company or other methods of trapping, which ultimately is an ineffective way of dealing with the issue. The vilification and persecution of coyotes over the years has led to many myths about coyotes. If you are interested in learning more about how to co-exist with coyotes and other wildlife, please visit: