A few weeks ago there was a bit of hubbub about one of the coyotes that lives in the city of Seattle, namely in Discovery Park. This park includes 500 acres of heavily treed land and is partially owned by the Navy. It is a very popular park used by many Seattle residents for running, hiking or picnicking.
Apparently, the Navy thought it would be a good idea to set up leg traps to capture the animal, citing their concern over the safety of the residents of the military housing on Fort Lawton that abuts the park. This plan was shut down by the City of Seattle when the surrounding community complained. It seemed fairly irresponsible to me to have traps where children and dogs might accidentally roam.
Next up on the plan (and this one got all the press), was the assigning of a Naval marksman to come in and shoot the coyote. Needless to say that this plan was also scrapped, as city Parks employees and area residents went on the lookout for any armed individuals in the park. That seemed like an accident waiting to happen. The USDA Wildlife Services (apparently acting on behalf of the Navy) scratched that idea off their list.
Following that brilliant move, the next plan was to trap the animal and then euthanize it. But that plan didn't last more than a day or two at most.
Finally, the USDA gave the coyote a reprieve, allowing it to roam without being molested by crazed humans. It is believed there is more than one coyote living in the park and there are a number of urban coyotes that live in the city of Seattle (including some by me).
So, what was warranting all this attention? Well, the coyote's biggest offense so far had been killing a cat and chasing a small dog. Perhaps the cat's owner was just pissed that they couldn't get $45,480 from the coyote's owner, well, because there isn't one.
Now, I shall turn the saga to you - what do you think should be done with city coyotes? Although this spectacle certainly didn't have the excitement of the coyote that was chased through Manhattan, nor does Seattle have the coyote population that Chicago does (estimated at several thousand), these city coyotes are certainly adapting to urban environments and I'm sure we'll be hearing more about these types of conflicts in the future as suburban sprawl pushes out the wildlife.