Dear Editor – Council Will Vote on Coyote Study May 13

Dear Editor,

Below is a link to an article that was published in The Guardian. It states the facts we shared with the City Council last September and cites the study published by the National Parks Service showing “that 20% of urban coyotes’ diets is made up of cats”. The NPS findings come from investigating “30,000 specimens of (coyote) scat” collected over two and a half years”.

The article also states that in “Los Angeles there were 16 coyote attacks on humans in 2016, up from two in 2011” and that there are now reports of “coyotes attacking cats in the daytime”.

They quote Dr. Quinn, a “human wildlife interactions advisor” at UC Irvine, who has done DNA analysis on the stomachs of over 300 coyotes that “confirm that cats form a least a fifth, if not more, of coyotes’diet”, and refer to the Coyote Catcher app she designed that, in 2018, “recorded 135 cat deaths by coyote attack, and 58 dog deaths”.

Given that this research has already been done, and paid for, by reputable sources, we respectfully request that the City Council not waste $211,000 of Culver City’s taxpayer money to confirm facts already in evidence. Surely that staggering amount of money could be spent in a more productive manner.

Some of the potentially useful programs we suggested last September were:

1) hiring another Animal Control Officer to patrol/haze at night when the coyotes are most active
2) protecting the school yards, parks, and library parking lot that abut the Ballona Creek with the fence “rollers” described during your September presentation
3) posting permanent Coyote Killing warning signage in all Culver City parks and other areas where the coyotes are most active
4) sending out mailers to ALL Culver City residents and businesses warning them of the danger, what to do if they see a coyote, and asking that they remove/cover food sources such as trash cans, pet food and fruit laying on the ground
5) develop an education program, with handouts, for all Culver City schools so that parents have the information they need to protect their children and their pets

Taking actual action to safeguard Culver City residents and businesses would seem to be a far greater priority than paying for another “study” to produce information we already have.

It is hard to imagine that these, and other similar, preventative safety actions could possibly cost $211,000, and they could be implemented immediately, rather than doing nothing for three years while waiting for yet another report to be complied.

With the remaining money, perhaps the City Council could do as Councilman Eriksson suggested at the September meeting, and approve the Culver City Police Department’s request for Narcan and defibrillators in their patrol cars, a request the Council denied because there was “no money” for an expenditure of less than $200 per car that would save human lives. I, for one. would like to know that saving my life would be worth spending a $120 on a defibrillator.

With the city council to vote on approving the funds for the coyote study on May 13, residents should get vocal about their opinions.

Geli Harris

The Actors' Gang

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