Orange County

Coyotes to Be Trapped, Possibly Killed Under Seal Beach Plan

Orange County city approves recommendations to control the animals after residents report steep increase in attacks on pets.

Coyotes will soon be trapped and euthanized in Seal Beach, after the city council voted 4-0 Monday night to approve controversial recommendations to control the animals, which residents say have taken to brazen attacks on local pets.

Residents say the animals have taken to coming into yards in the Orange County town even in daylight hours to prey on small dogs and other pets.

“The problem is the coyotes are habituated,” said Mayor Ellery Deaton. “They’re wild dogs, they’ve been trained and they’ve been trained to come in and look for food and water.”

Deaton was among those who voted in favor of a list of committee recommendations, including short-term solutions such as trapping coyotes, $100 fines for anyone feeding the animals and improving the city’s fences and other infrastructure.

Dozens of residents turned out to the council’s Monday night meeting, including some who recounted stories of pets being plucked out of their backyards or fenced dog runs.

One woman said her 9-pound dog had been taken by coyotes from her yard, leaving a trail of blood. The dog’s remains were found three homes away.

But some residents said trapping and killing the coyotes would not eliminate the problem in the long term.

“You simply cannot remove coyotes from this eco-system without then being overrun by rats and rabbits and all that,” Tim Revell, a biologist living in Seal Beach, told NBC4 on Sunday. “You create an evolutionary pressure on those that are left, that are smarter than that. They’ll survive, reproduce and it becomes more and more of a problem.”

Trapping could begin in as little as a week.

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