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News

Griffith Park Coyotes Deemed 'imminent threat' Prompting Trapping, Killing

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coyote_griffith_park.jpg
Photo of a coyote in Griffith Park by ikkoskinen via Flickr


Photo of a coyote in Griffith Park by ikkoskinen via Flickr
There are indeed coyotes in Griffith Park, and lately they've been letting their presence be known. Last week a man who was sleeping near the Travel Town area of the park" reported being attacked by a coyote," according to the LA Times. The man said he woke up "to find a coyote biting his foot," however "he was not seriously injured."This is the second recent attack in Griffith Park, say wildlife officials, who were informed last week by Los Angeles County health authorities that "another person had been bitten in the park in late August." Details regarding either incident, for example why a man was asleep in the park at night, or under what circumstances the August bite occurred, have been scant.

However, as a result of the two incidents, the U.S. Department of Agriculture followed their protocol of trapping and killing coyotes once the animals were determined to be an "imminent threat" to park-goers' safety. Between Thursday and Sunday the dispatched agents were successful in "trapping and lethally shooting seven of the animals." Because no DNA sample was taken from either recent bite victims, however, the authorities can't confirm if any of the coyotes they exterminated were the predators in these cases.

But rather than feel safer, many park users are upset with the news of the killings: "Park visitors are angry with wildlife officials' decision to trap and shoot coyotes in the 4,210-acre mountain park," notes LA Now. And while one official says "It's been a while since we've had a bite here in Southern California," it's actually been just under a year since a jogger was bitten by a coyote in Griffith Park.