I would like to express my grateful thanks to Mr. Bruce Cahill, a county Agricultural Commission tracker, for his humane attitude and remarks regarding a recent sighting of a cougar or mountain lion in Walnut Creek Park (Times, Nov. 16).
And now I'd like to help everyone to also treat coyotes fairly! Because we have reduced the coyote's natural food sources by building more and more homes on his territory in the foothills, he is now forced to come down in search of food, which he finds in our garbage cans, pet dishes and gardens. As the coyote still regards this as his territory, we can expect him to fight if he comes across another small animal on his feeding ground.
We do not want to eliminate the coyote from the foothills, because he helps us by feeding on rodents and other plague-carrying animals, such as ground squirrels, but to reduce any danger to our pets, we must discourage him from feeding in our neighborhoods. I therefore offer the following list of do's and don'ts as an effective and humane way to avoid dangerous encounters with our coyote neighbors.
Do teach children to recognize coyotes. Do keep pets inside a secure fence or inside the house. Do securely fence yards and gardens. Do bang pans or make other noises to scare any coyote found near your home. Do report any sighting of coyotes in residential areas to your local animal control authority.