Prompted by an alleged coyote attack in August and another last Wednesday night wherein a man sleeping on the ground near Travel Town reportedly woke up to find a coyote biting his foot, California Department of Fish & Game wasted no time dispatching wildlife trappers who spent Thursday and Sunday in Griffith Park hunting and killing seven of the creatures.
As an unabashed coyote admirer who’s had a number of uneventful close coyote encounters all over Los Angeles, the tragic kicker of it all, as reported by the L.A. Times, is that having not been able to collect the attacking animal’s DNA from the victim’s foot, there’s no way of knowing if the culprit is among the seven carcasses collected.
But Fish & Game officials don’t let such pertinent bits of evidence keep them from raining death on a whole bunch of otherwise innocent coyote flesh, especially since the department can stand stoic and clenched behind a policy of wholesale slaughter if there’s deemed to be a danger to the public (or at least that segment of it that despite all the “Warning: Dangerous Animals” signage posted throughout the park decides it’s entirely fine to lay oneself out on the grass after dark and go night-night).
My point being this wasn’t a rogue coyote rampantly or randomly attacking someone in their Atwater Village driveway. This was a creature in its familiar environment who made the mistake of sampling what it thought was the best buffet ever.
But the state agency in charge doesn’t see any difference.
“Somebody getting bitten is an imminent threat,” said Fish & Game biologist Kevin Brennan to the Times.
If the park’s surviving coyotes could I’m sure they’d yell “No shit! To us!”