Huntington Beach Considers Plan to Trap, Kill Coyotes

A recent spike in coyote sightings in Huntington Beach has prompted the city to consider hiring a licensed trapper to capture and euthanize the animals, despite pleas from animal activists.

The City Council was scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Monday to discuss the proposal submitted by Mayor Pro Tem Devin Dwyer.

Within the last 12 months, there have been more than 200 reported coyote sightings and 26 pet deaths linked to coyotes, according to police records.

"I am very confident that there have been hundreds of more sightings and many more pet deaths that were not reported," Dwyer wrote in his proposal.

"Many people I have spoken to fear that it is only a matter of time before a person is attacked by a coyote, and they believe the time has come for the city to take appropriate action to respond to this threat to public safety," he wrote.

Animal rights activists argue that "hazing" -- using deterrents such as throwing projectiles or making loud noises -- can teach coyotes to avoid certain areas.

"Communities such as Denver, Colorado have successfully used hazing to eliminate aggressive or undesirable behavior in coyotes and/or coyote family groups (such as attacking pets, resting in parks during the day, following joggers) in various parks, school grounds, and residential neighborhoods," wrote the Humane Society's Lynsey White Dasher in a response to the plan.

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