Category Archives: Alerts

Reminder: Pros & Cons of Trapping Coyotes, Jan. 31. All are invited.

What: The “Pros and Cons of Trapping Coyotes”
When: Tuesday, Jan 31st, 7:00 P.M.
Where: Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, at E. Lake and Ponce (2089 Ponce de Leon Ave; Atlanta 30307); entrance drive is on East Lake
Who: Community at large

Community concern continues over the presence and impact of coyotes in our neighborhood. This meeting will include a brief review of similar concerns in other communities (nationally and locally), and what they are doing about coyotes. Wildlife specialist and trapper Chip Elliot will share with us his knowledge and experience of 23 years. An update on establishing a central metro coyote reporting system will also be given.

Also, officials from DeKalb County Animal Services will be on hand.

The meeting is being organized by Decatur resident Christy Bosarge (ckbosarge (at) and the Druid Hills Civic Association (contact: Bob Ballou — rcballou (at)


Meeting to Discuss Coyote Trapping, Jan. 31. All are invited.

What: The “Pros and Cons of Trapping Coyotes”
When: Tuesday, Jan 31st, 7:00 P.M.
Where: Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, at E. Lake and Ponce (2089 Ponce de Leon Ave; Atlanta 30307); entrance drive is on East Lake
Who: Community at large

Community concern continues over the presence and impact of coyotes in our neighborhood. (See email below as one example.) This meeting will include a brief review of similar concerns in other communities (nationally and locally), and what they are doing about coyotes. Wildlife specialist and trapper Chip Elliot will share with us his knowledge and experience of 23 years. An update on establishing a central metro coyote reporting system will also be given.

Email received early January:

“I woke up in the night recently to terrible screaming and fighting sounds, and I ran barefoot into the backyard. A pack of coyotes was there — definitely 3-5 — and at least one had gotten into my neighbor’s barbed-wire pen of goats. A coyote was attacking them.
It was dark back there, but I screamed and yelled and chased them off. “By the time I woke the neighbors and they checked on the goats, the biggest of the goats, who is about 60/70 pounds, had puncture wounds in her neck. But is amazingly ok. She obviously was defending the much smaller goats. My neighbor put up more barbed wire, but found the coyotes too persistent and had to send the goats back to the farm they came from for fear they would be eaten.
“I did file a report on the Decatur News page — but WOW — if they are willing to come into a backyard and try to take down a LARGE goat, after hopping over a 5- foot fence topped by barbed wire, there’s no reason to think they wouldn’t attack kids.” Jennifer Palese, Decatur

Burglary on 200 Block W Parkwood Rd

Last Wednesday, December 7, 2011, at 9 a.m., there was apparently a forced burglary of a house on West Parkwood Road on the 200 block. It was reported at the following website:

No further details have been obtained by me or other neighbors as far as we know, and the owner of the home did not report it to the PGC. We do not know which home it was, although the website above does seem to pinpoint a specific location on the street, albeit with no address listed.

The holiday or winter season seems to historically be a time when some break-ins have happened in our neighborhood. As you travel and leave your home unattended this season, please be aware of this situation and take precautions. Also please alert the PGC as soon as you learn of any type of crime in the neighborhood by sending an email to

Instructions for Posting Coyote Sightings Here

Dear Parkwood Neighbors,

Starting today, Nov. 26, 2011, there is a new menu heading along the top of the PGC website. Go to, look at the top menu bar, and on the righthand side you’ll see the menu item “Coyotes” following the “Neighbors” item. The exact position of the “Coyotes” heading will depend on the width of your browser window, but it’ll be up there somewhere. When you see a coyote in Parkwood, you will be able to report it immediately here on the website by posting a comment on this post you’re reading now. So how will this work? Please read the whole article below before posting any sightings.

Instructions for posting a coyote sighting on this post:

1. Click on the “Coyote” heading along the top menu bar of the website homepage. It will pull up this post onto the main page for viewing.
2. At the bottom of the post, you will see “—> Leave a Reply” or “Leave a Comment.”
3. Click on it. Then type in your current coyote sighting.
4. Before navigating away, click “Post Comment.”
5. PLEASE make your comment meaningful to others by including the following info:

  • a.) The date
  • b.) The approximate time
  • c.) The location such as street address, intersection, landmark, etc.
  • d.) What exactly did you see in terms of numbers of coyotes, behaviors, vocalizations, any food (or pets) carried, direction of travel, etc.
  • e.) Your name so that concerned neighbors can contact you for more info if they so desire. You may also include your address or contact info.
  • f.) Any other coyote-related info, such as  past sightings made by you, how it made you feel to see coyotes here, how your own behavior might change in response to seeing coyotes in Parkwood, etc.

Just as importantly, if you end up posting a sighting, you will probably want to be alerted automatically every time someone else leaves a coyote sighting here. If you do not subscribe to the comment thread on this post, you will miss additional sightings unless you constantly check back to the website and read this post again. Subscribing to the comment thread means that you will receive an email every time someone posts a coyote sighting to this post you choose to subscribe to. You can then read their comment/sighting in the email you receive.

Instructions for subscribing to the comment thread:

1. Follow steps 1-3 above.
2. After you write in your sighting, check the box that says, “Notify me of follow-up comments via email” before you click on “Post Comment.”
3. If you want to subscribe to the comment thread starting now (or any point in the future) but DO NOT have any coyote sightings to post, you have two options for subscribing to the thread without posting a comment. Read below instructions from Bolot.

It appears does not offer a way to subscribe to comments without leaving one. However, there are two workarounds. Solution number one:

1.) Fill out the comment form on this post that just says something like, “I want to be notified via email of any future coyote sightings posted to the website.” MAKE SURE you check the box “Notify me of follow-up comments via email,” then submit the comment. You will need to provide your email address and name.

2.) As an alternative, if you are familiar with RSS, you can subscribe to RSS feed of comments for this post. The details depend on your browser and news reader software. For example, in Safari you can click on the RSS button in the location bar (next to the reload button) and it will offer you three options: the RSS feed for the entire site, the RSS feed for all the comments on the entire site, or the RSS feed for the comments on the current post. Select the last one and you can copy the URL from the location bar and use it in your news reader. If you have no idea what this means, you can learn. You can contact Bolot with questions on how to subscribe via RSS feed; make sure you are sitting at your computer if you call. His contact info is in the printed Directory. If you don’t have a printed Directory, you can email for an electronic Directory to be emailed to you if you joined the PGC for 2012.

If you are already subscribed to the website, you will NOT be alerted via email every time there is a sighting/comment posted to this post, UNLESS you ALSO subscribe yourself to this specific comment thread! There is a difference. If you want to be immediately alerted of new coyote sightings here, you will have to be proactive and subscribe yourself to the comment thread, as described above.

Any questions, email us! Thanks!

~ Rebecca and Bolot Kerimbaev, Communications Co-Chairs

Facts about Opossums, Coyotes, and Rabies

I just received an email from a Parkwood neighbor asking me to alert residents along East Parkwood of a possible rabid opossum seen this morning around 11 a.m. “It was drooling and foaming at the mouth. It wandered off in the direction of the MARTA station, climbing over fences as it went. I notified the county and they said they would send someone out.”

Here is something that may be surprising to many folks: opossums are extremely rare carriers of rabies. In fact, because of their low body temperature (94-97 degrees F), it is believed that the rabies virus cannot survive and replicate in the opossum. They also appear to be immune or resistant to typical domestic animal diseases of the dog and cat, such as distemper, parvo virus, and feline hepatitis.

In the last 9 years, since 2002, there have been NO cases of rabies in opossums reported by the Centers for Disease Control in the state of Georgia. I am still trying to find out from the GA State Epidemiologist if there have ever been any reported cases for the years prior to 2002 and will let you know. I can give you a list of all the wild animal species that have been reported as being diagnosed with rabies in the state of Georgia between 2002 and 2010. In order of most to least reported: 1) Raccoon, 2) Skunk, 3) Fox, 4) Bat, 5) Bobcat, 6) Coyote, 7) Otter (only 1 case in otter).

Here’s a breakdown by year and species (source: :

Number of wild animals found to be rabid in the state of Georgia:
2002: 247 raccoons, 59 foxes, 50 skunks, 26 bats, 3 bobcats
2003: 242 raccoons, 68 skunks, 43 foxes, 16 bats, 3 bobcats, 1 coyote
2004: 227 raccoons, 38 skunks, 35 foxes, 19 bats, 5 bobcats, 1 coyote
2005: 156 raccoons, 40 skunks, 23 bats, 16 foxes, 4 bobcats, 2 coyotes
2006: 154 raccoons, 42 skunks, 28 bats, 16 foxes, 1 bobcat, 1 coyote
2007: 193 raccoons, 35 skunks, 18 foxes, 18 bats, 3 bobcats, 1 coyote
2008: 235 raccoons, 62 skunks, 36 foxes, 25 bats, 5 bobcats, 2 coyotes
2009: 226 raccoons, 81 skunks, 45 foxes, 21 bats, 6 bobcats
2010: 208 raccoons, 78 skunks, 40 foxes, 20 bats, 4 bobcats, 1 coyote

The Ga State Epidemiologist who specializes in rabies reporting told me today that from 2005 to the present, the Georgia Public Health Lab tested a total of 54 opossums for rabies, none of which tested positive. All tested either negative or indeterminate, with the indeterminate results being due to insufficient brain sample due to decomposition or because the animal had been shot in the head. These were most likely cases of possible exposure to the opossum by either humans or domestic animals such as pets.

She reminded me that the State of Ga conducts passive surveillance for rabies only, meaning that the Dept. of Health does not go out and collect wild animals to test for rabies. They test only wild animals that have come in contact with humans or domesticated animals and where there was a threat or possibility of rabies transmission to the human or pet. In other words, the numbers for the state of Georgia, and possibly for many other states that report their statistics to the CDC every year, are not a reflection of rabies prevalence in wild populations of animals, but rather a reflection of prevalence in suspected cases of rabies in which there was contact between human and/or domesticated animal and wild animal. The numbers do, however, give you some idea of how likely it is to encounter an opossum with rabies: not very likely at all.

According to the CDC, for example, in 2010 there were only 3 reported cases of rabies in opossums in the U.S., and in 2009 there were also only 3 cases. Every year since 2002, it seems, there are 3-4 cases of rabies reported in a wild opossum somewhere in the U.S., but not from Georgia. There have been one or two from South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, New York City, and other states. It looks as though your chances of seeing or encountering an opossum with rabies in Georgia is extremely slim. You are more likely to encounter a cat or even a dog with rabies than you are an opossum. The number of rabies cases in dogs and cats in Georgia every year is much higher.

State Epidemiologist Melissa Ivey makes the following recommendations for keeping yourself and your pets safe from rabies. Always keep all pets vaccinated against rabies, both dogs AND cats. There are a lot more cats reported with rabies than dogs, but there are cases of both in Georgia every year. Many people don’t end up vaccinating their cats — you should though! It is against the law to NOT vaccinate your dogs and cats against rabies. Keep your pets, whether they are cats or dogs, inside or contained in enclosures or leashed, so that they cannot roam free to come in contact with wild animals. Of course, wild animals with rabies can approach pets if pets are outdoors, but if pets are not roaming, the chances of transmission plummet. Few people would allow their dogs to face the dangers of roaming free — protect your cats as you would your dogs and keep them inside or away from wildlife.

To keep yourself and your children safe, do not come into contact with wild mammals, as ANY mammal is capable of carrying and transmitting rabies. If anyone notices a wild mammal that is acting strangely they can call their county Environmental Health Office or county Animal Control (contact info found below). If someone is bitten or scratched by a wild mammal, you are directed to call Georgia Poison Control. Georgia Poison Control no longer assists in cases of pets who’ve been in fights with animals or been bitten or scratched — they only deal with human cases now. If your pet has been in a fight with a mammal, you should consult immediately with your veterinarian and you can call Animal Control or the Environmental Health Office about trying to capture the wild animal involved.

If you do see a wild animal you want to keep away from yourself, your children, and your pets, the AWAREONE.ORG website recommends the following actions.

  • Frighten the animal; yell, wave your arms, squirt with hose.
  • Never feed pets outside or leave them out after dark.
  • Never allow children to play outside unattended.
  • Secure trash and compost to eliminate food sources.
  • Proactively educate your neighborhood.

Below is the contact information for the resources mentioned above.

Georgia Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222
(in case of a person bitten by a wild animal)

Georgia Department of Public Health
Melissa Ivey, Epidemiologist specializing in rabies
(in case of person or pet bitten by wild animal, or for more information about rabies in Georgia)

DeKalb County Board of Environmental Health: 404-294-3700
(in case of person or pet bitten by wild animal, or to report a possibly rabid animal, wild or domestic, in DeKalb County)

DeKalb County Animal Control: 404-294-2996
(to report a possibly rabid dog or cat in DeKalb county)

For more information on rabies in the U.S. and Georgia:

For more information on coexisting peacefully with urban wildlife in Atlanta:

Thanks for reading! — Rebecca Kerimbaev