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Regiona : WOODLAND HILLS : Coyote-Trapping Ban to Undergo Further Study

March 31, 1994|HUGO MARTIN

After a contentious hearing on a controversial 9-month-old ban on coyote trapping, the Los Angeles Animal Regulation Commission last week called for further study before deciding how to stop coyotes from foraging for food in residential areas.

The study is expected to seek a compromise that will appease wildlife conservationists, who oppose coyote trapping, and hillside residents who say trapping is needed to protect pets and children from coyote attacks. The report will also recommend whether to continue the ban on trapping, which was implemented last June under pressure from animal-rights activists.

The decision to ask animal regulation officials to draft recommendations within 60 days came during a sometimes emotional meeting in Woodland Hills attended by about 110 people, many of whom live on urban hillsides where coyote sightings have increased.

"The memory of my little Kelly's moans is more piercing than any yelp a coyote could make," said Cathy Keen, mother of a 3-year-old girl killed by a coyote in Glendale in 1981.

Wildlife conservationists recommend, among other steps, keeping pets and pet food in at night to cut off the food supply that draws coyotes into neighborhoods.

Recent wildfires, which drove coyotes into urban areas, the trapping ban and a seasonal abundance of the small wildlife that coyotes feed upon are factors that have led to an increase in coyote sightings, animal regulation officers say.

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