LA Councilman Mitchell Englander proposes trap and release program for coyotes

GRIFFITH PARK, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- With coyote sightings on the rise in neighborhoods across Los Angeles, one city councilman is calling for changes through a plan that includes trapping and relocating the wild animals.

Los Angeles City officials say over the summer, residents reported coyotes in parks and open spaces endangering children and pets.

Resident Robin Castillo said she saw several coyotes.

"I saw one on one road, and then coming back home I saw another one on another road close to our house," Castillo said.

Los Angeles City Council member Mitchell Englander said the city should trap and relocate wild coyotes discovered near populated areas.

"Trap and release is the most effective, humane way to address the challenge of wild coyotes in our communities," Englander said in a statement. "The longer a coyote spends in close proximity to residential areas, the more likely it is to attack people or pets or endanger itself."

But animal rights groups do not think this is the right approach, and is also against state law.

"I was actually very disappointed and surprised because it's against California Fish and Game law to relocate any wildlife," Randi Feilich from Project Coyote said.

Feilich said humans building homes where coyotes live is one reason this is happening.

"They're intentionally or unintentionally feeding the wildlife and what that means is they feel bad for the coyote," Feilich said. "So, they start to throw out food and a coyote being a carnivore is looking for the food."

The plan has to go to the Animal Welfare Committee. Animal advocates vow to fight it.
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