San Gabriel Valley residents concerned with rising coyote population

MONROVIA, Calif. (KABC) -- The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments could vote as soon as Thursday on a new regional policy that would help deal with a rising coyote population.

Traci French tries to contain her tears as she talks about the coyote attack that claimed the life of her pet Gracie in the backyard of their Monrovia home two weeks ago.

"Our little miniature Schnauzer got eaten. We just picked up her ashes yesterday," she said.

French says coyotes have gotten more comfortable lately, coming out of the foothills into neighborhoods without any fear of coming face-to-face with residents.

"It's just been a little nerve wracking because they are very brazen, they jump on the hill and just turn around and look at you when you got out of your car," French said.

French's story is one of several prompting San Gabriel Valley officials to get aggressive about dealing with a rising coyote population and the dangers it poses for residents and their pets.

"Especially recently, there's been some pets that have died because of coyotes," said Monrovia resident Aaron Geyer. "With them coming this far in urban areas looking for food, it's kind of the cost of living here, really."

San Gabriel officials from 30 cities are teaming up, creating a coyote management task force.

The San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments is set to vote as soon as Thursday on whether to adopt a regional policy, including public outreach and education.

The council is encouraging people not to feed the coyotes or any other wild animals, and not to leave pet food outdoors, especially overnight. Officials also suggest making noise to scare away the animals.

San Gabriel officials tell Eyewitness News the issue of trapping coyotes is not an option being considered.

Geyer doesn't think trapping is probably a fair option.

"They were here first and with living here, especially in this area, you are in the foothills," he said. "You are infringing on their territory."
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