Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 @ 7:30 p.m. Meeting with Decatur City Commissioners about urban coyotes

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

My name is Christy Kennedy Bosarge and our dear sweet cat, Zaya, was attacked by a coyote eight feet from our front door on E Parkwood Rd at 11:45 a.m. on Monday, October 31, 2011. In spite of my yelling in rage, the coyote was not deterred in the least. Fifteen minutes before the attack, a mother and child left my house through the same front door.

The number of coyote sightings in addition to the number of lost small pets, is increasing in our community. My concern is:

  1. We do not have a system for keeping up with the impact coyotes are having in our community.
  2. We do not have an effective educational program in place that informs current and new community members  a)  that the coyotes exist and  b)  what we all individually should be doing to minimize their presence in our neighborhoods
  3. Coyotes have already become even more invasive and threatening in northern metro Atlanta communities than what we are experiencing here in the Decatur area.
  4. There is no plan to control or manage the presence of coyotes in our community.

In an effort to increase the awareness of the negative impact that coyotes are having on our lives and the urgency of this problem, my husband and I will be sharing the above concerns with the City of Decatur commissioners on Monday, Dec 5th at 7:30 p.m. and invite all neighbors to join us in this meeting. Because Coyotes are known to travel as far as 10 miles per day, I feel that it is reasonable that neighbors who live within a 10 mile radius of E. Parkwood Road attend. What happens in my backyard effects yours and vice versa.

As a part of my presentation to the council, I would like to share a slide show of all pets who are suspected or known to be victims of a coyote. All neighbors who live within 10 miles of E. Parkwood Road are invited, therefore, to email me an image of their coyote-related lost pet to help emphasize the reality of our loss. Pictures of family members with their pets will help drive home the emotional loss that we have experienced.

Please visit https://sites.google.com/site/coyotesindecatur/ to submit your information. I will also include your pet’s photo in my presentation, if you email it to me before December 1.

You may also be interested in knowing that trapper Chip Elliot will be present to answer any questions related to coyotes and management in our urban communities.

I hope you can personally attend the Monday, Dec 5th meeting in City Hall and ask that you share this email with your neighbors so that we may all come together to respectfully share our concerns and begin a dialogue about how to manage the growing threat of coyotes in our community.

Sincerely,
Christy Kennedy Bosarge

City Hall is located in downtown Decatur “on the square” 509 N. McDonough, next door to Eddie’s attic and across from the Court House and Chick Fil. The entrance to the meeting is on the backside of the City Hall building. The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m..

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5 responses to “Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 @ 7:30 p.m. Meeting with Decatur City Commissioners about urban coyotes

  1. The Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort (AWARE)’s urban coyote action plan needs to be required reading here:
    http://v.gd/jvM2Uq
    http://www.awareone.org/

  2. How can you get upset with a wild animal when we humans have taken over their habitat AND you are willing to allow your cat (the only domestic animal that is allow to roam “at large”), to roam free in the wildlife’s territory. It’s simple, keep your animals safe and inside!

  3. We need to be learning to live with the wildlife returning to our urban areas, instead of driving them out. I find it a very good & comforting sign to see them returning. If you let your cat run free, then you have to accept the possible consequences. Coyotes VERY rarely attack humans & then only if they are cornered. A squirrel would do the same.

    George Hedrick

  4. There is no evidence that coyotes were ever indigenous to this part of the country, let alone Decatur, or even anywhere remotely near. They have actually been the beneficiaries of man’s transformation of the natural environment, not the victims. In fact, coyotes have exploited human modifications to the environment, and, in addition to a lost pet, may be contributing to the decline of indigenous prey species and may now be out competing local predators. With the suburbanization of huge parts of the country since 1900, opportunistic diners like coyotes (and opossums and raccoons) have spread to many areas where Native Americans would have been shocked to see them 200-300 years ago.
    Coyotes, true locovores, can live on chipmunks and squirrels, either fresh caught or road kill (squirrels are much more abundant around here than in native woods, due to the tree types we have planted and kept, free bird seed, and the relatively few local predators that remain—some justice, perhaps, as our local grey squirrels themselves have taken advantage of human habits and spread into areas thousands of miles from their natural historic range, displacing local species), pet food from pet containers left outside, pets themselves, garbage, rats, fruits, berries, and fresh garden veggies. I am a pet lover, but cats left outside in this area certainly kill way, way more local birds than any gun-toting hunters, so my sympathy is muted. Human-introduced cats have been responsible for the extinction of a number of bird species (mostly on islands), an it’s still going on. So maybe both cats and coyotes aren’t all that different from kudzu.

  5. As a parent of a small child AND a cat, I appreciate Christy’s effort to address her concern through use of the proper channels and her commitment to her community. Thank you, Christy.

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