Residents want City of Mobile to trap and eliminate growing coyote population
MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Coyote encounters have been an ongoing issue for a couple of years here in Mobile. Jacob Blasius lives on Evelyn Drive near Gate 1 of the University of Mobile and says the problem has only gotten worse.
“The coyotes were using my yard -- crossing my patio -- even though well lit with the drapes open -- they could physically see me but were not showing any fear and felt free traveling through my yard,” recalled Blasius.
Not long after, Blasius joined “Coyote Watch” -- the Nextdoor app group that’s nearly 550 members strong. The social media group alerts members through videos, pictures, and even maps showing more than 115 sightings, mostly in Spring Valley and the Springhill area. And not all of the sightings have been at night.
They say most of the coyote packs are believed to be living on city-owned wooded properties. As it stands now, the city is only required to act when residents submit video evidence of aggressive coyotes.
“We’ve been noticing the numbers have been continuing to increase as they continue to breed. The existing ordinance we don’t feel is sufficient, because we want preventative measures taken. We want to prevent future attacks,” said Blasius before the Mobile City Council.
Going before the Mobile City Council Tuesday, Blasius spelled out the group’s proposal. The proposal is asking the City of Mobile to update its ordinance -- requiring them to trap all coyotes, not just the aggressive ones.
“They have to be trapped and exterminated one pack at a time. You cannot just deal with an aggressive coyote that might be an alpha male or alpha female. The alpha males and alpha females discourage the other members of the pack from breeding, which means if you kill off the alpha male and alpha female, you have to kill off the rest of the pack to prevent the rest of pack from creating a population explosion,” explained Blasius.
The group believes the longer the City waits to act, the more costly it will be.
“Obviously, the real fear is not so much that we’ve had attacks already -- is that as the number of coyotes within the City of Mobile are breeding and mulitplying and spreading throughout more neighborhoods, the potential for an attack on pets and humans will mulitply by a significant degree,” said Blasius.
The group says they’re optimistic the City of Mobile will work with them, but says if they don’t move on it, they’ll not only petition but are prepared to make this an election issue.
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