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With little science, SoCal cities struggle to formulate coyote policies

Coyote C144 walks in a neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles early Thursday morning June 4th.
Coyote C144 walks in a neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles early Thursday morning June 4th.
Stuart Palley for KPCC

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Donna Perez was stooped over in her backyard, fixing a sprinkler, when she heard her dog start shrieking.

She stood up and whirled around, but it was too late. A coyote had jumped over the yard's five-foot wall, snatched one of her two pet Yorkies, and disappeared.

"We did not find her until the next day, and she was 95 percent dead," said the Arcadia resident. The dog later died.

Soon after, Perez went to the Arcadia city council along with five other worried residents. They told stories of being stalked while walking their dogs, of coyotes trapping them in their cars, and of the pepper spray and golf clubs they now carried when they left their homes.

Over the past two years, aggressive coyotes have attacked pets or bitten people in a number of cities throughout the region, including Glendora, Montebello, Irvine and Los Angeles. And Southern Californians have been filing complaints about coyotes for decades.

But there's a problem with Perez' conclusion that the region is being stalked by a more dangerous type of coyote: There's no science to back it up.

Read full story here.


Emily Guerin, environmental reporter at KPCC whose latest piece looks at how some SoCal cities are dealing with coyotes

Justin Brown, ecologist with National Park Service in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area; his research focuses on coyotes

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