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Coyote Control

March 22, 1992

Your recent story mentioned Solana Beach resident Jeannie Hanson, who claims to have lost eight pets to coyotes in 10 years ("Friends, Foes of Coyotes Draw Up Sides," March 13). I think her report demonstrates exactly what is wrong in the area. Surely a reasonable person, having lost even one pet to a coyote right in their back yard, would not continue to bring home small pets year after year and leave them outside.

The people of this community may have to face up to the fact that they have chosen to live in an area that is not entirely safe for their pets. They must take responsibility for their choice and give up having companion animals in their homes unless they are of a type that can be confined indoors. If residents like Jeannie Hanson continue to provide a steady supply of little critters for the coyotes, as well as to leave dog and cat food bowls outdoors, they are in effect teaching the coyotes where to look for food.

It is absurd for David Moreno of Animal Damage Control to state that keeping pets and pet food indoors won't work. Until the coyotes learn to pick the lock on the front door, it will help enormously.

As for the alleged danger to children in the area from coyotes, I trust that there is just as great a danger statistically that a child will be injured by a hidden steel-jaw trap. Certainly responsible parents should have thought twice about moving to a community that is so unsafe, in their estimation, for their children.

Indiscriminate trapping and killing of coyotes is not the solution. Certainly after these animals are killed, more will come to fill the niche. After all, the problem has been going on for years. Humane deterrent methods must be utilized. Killing off all of our natural wildlife will create an environment that we may deserve, but which I am confident we will not enjoy.

JANE CARTMILL, Encinitas

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