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Officials on Prowl for Cat-Killing Coyote

October 23, 2000|TRACI ISAACS

A cat-snatching coyote in the Mountain Valley subdivision of Simi Valley may be running short on time.

Spurred by the complaints of neighbors in the area near Cochran Street and Justin Avenue who say the coyote has killed at least eight cats in the past month, Patrick Musone is ready to act.

An education officer with the Ventura County Animal Regulation Department, Musone will spend this week talking to residents and determining how to stop the coyote, which he believes is responsible for the cat deaths.

He has no interest in harming the coyote for following its hunting instinct. But Musone said the coyote's methods--hunting during daylight and brazenly entering residential yards--is unusual behavior.

He did not rule out having to destroy the animal.

Attacks on people are rare but have occurred, causing serious injuries to children, according to the California Department of Fish and Game.

Musone urged residents to yell, blow a horn or scare the animal away.

When housing tracts intersect the path of traveling wildlife, animals discover food, water and sometimes cats, he said.

If a coyote wasn't eating well, it probably wouldn't come back, Musone said.

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