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4 Coyotes Euthanized, Park Closed After Series Of Attacks On Humans

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(Photo by philcalvert via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
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Four coyotes were euthanized after a recent series of attacks happened at Grant Rea Park in Montebello.

Two of the incidents occurred over the weekend, reports NBC 4. The latest one happened on Sunday at 1 a.m. when a victim who was rummaging through a trash can ended up with 19 puncture wounds on his leg. There were at least three reports of coyote attacks in the area in recent weeks. Grant Rea Park is expected to be closed until Wednesday as animal control experts conduct further investigation.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife told Fox 11 that experts targeted the most aggressive coyotes in the area. The euthanized coyotes will be tested for rabies, with results expected in about a week. "The animals appear to be healthy," said a spokesperson for Fish and Wildlife. "They're just opportunistic hunters. They're doing what coyotes do. Unfortunately, it's in conflict with the people here in Montebello." Officials stressed that there are no signs of a rabies outbreak, and urged residents to continue with their daily routines.

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Coyotes, as indicated by studies, have grown used to living in urban areas in the L.A. County. According to data compiled by KCET, in the past few years Animal Services has received an increasing number of calls regarding coyotes; the number of calls in 2013 were five times the figures from 2010. Several cities in Southern California have reported a rise coyote sightings, and some of them have adopted more aggressive measures in dealing with the animals. In 2014, the Seal Beach City Council voted to approve a measure to trap and kill coyotes, though it backtrackedafter discovering that the company contracted to euthanize the coyotes—Critter Busters—did not put the animals to sleep before they were killed. Last year the City of Long Beach also adopted a plan that would allow animal control experts to kill a coyote if it has shown enough incidences of being aggressive towards pets, or entering a resident's backyard. In May, Torrance also OKed trapping coyotes after reporting an uptick in coyote-related attacks on pets. It should be noted that it is illegal in California to relocate a coyote, so any trapped coyote would be required by law to be euthanized, according to the Daily Breeze.

L.A., on the other hand, espouses a different attitude for the most part. In June, the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services released a report that recommended education and the hiring of more wildlife staff to address the growing number of coyote encounters. It did not, however, recommend trapping and killing the animals at any capacity.