Three coyotes killed in Seal Beach eradication effort

coyoteA controversial plan by the city of Seal Beach to trap and kill coyotes has netted three of the animals in its first week.

Despite impassioned protests from animal rights activists, the City Council agreed last night to continue the program for three more weeks.

The program was adopted after residents claimed that coyotes were killing their pets and becoming increasingly bold.

The Orange County Register reports that one councilman has reversed his earlier support for the trap-and-kill program. Councilman Michael Levitt says he changed his mind after learning more about the manner of euthanization, which involves gassing the animals. Levitt says he received 14,000 emails opposing his earlier vote.coyoteprotest

Some critics say killing the coyotes could backfire, because officials will remove the weakest members of the population and leave stronger animals to breed. But city officials agreed with residents that alternative methods of dealing with the coyote menace were not working.

Both the city of Seal Beach and the state of California offer tips for living with urban coyotes.