Coyotes causing problems in Galveston

February 11, 2008 5:37:44 PM PST
There are concerns about dangerous coyotes on Galveston Island. Construction and development have pushed the wild animals into neighborhoods and backyards there. When Rachel Aleman lets her dog, Sandy, out for a walk, she never lets her get too far, still reminded of what happened back in December when two wild coyotes attacked her precious pup. What troubles Aleman is that it happened right in front of her home, a quiet residential area where others have had run-ins with the creatures.

"They got in there and they can get in all of these bushes behind here also," she said, pointing to bushes by her home.

Neighbors say the coyotes seem to be living in a nearby cemetery. Most blame development on the island's west end for forcing the wild animals out into their neighborhoods. Nationwide, coyotes have turned up under cars and even in public restaurants.

"Their habitat is gone down there, so it's pretty much just pushing them further and further into town," said resident Mary Armstead.

The Department of Agriculture does have a program to rid urban areas of coyotes, but so far, they have yet to intervene in Galveston. The city's animal control department does respond, but without the proper resources, admittedly, there's little they can do.

"We have made efforts to trap them, and where we're successful, they're put down," said Galveston Police Department Chief Kenneth Mack.

So for now, homeowners are keeping watch on their pets, as well as their loved ones, hoping something is done before it gets even worse.

"If they're coming after the pets and animals, they'll come after the children eventually," said Aleman.

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