Police issue warnings about coyotes in Bellaire

January 19, 2010 4:56:17 AM PST
Police in Bellaire are issuing a warning about dangerous animals inside the Loop. They say the animals have attacked others along a corridor of railroad tracks that extend from Bellaire to the South Loop. They were also caught on camera. When crews aren't working on the railroad tracks between West University and Bellaire, the woods behind Doctor Joe Agris' home are peaceful.

"Usually you can't hear traffic back here. The birds are all over the place. There are ducks," said Dr. Agris.

In fact, in the 10 years he's lived on what he's named Eden, Dr. Agris has transformed the seven plus acres into a wildlife refuge complete with black swans, miniature horses and deer.

"You could sit here and watch rabbits across the lawn," said Dr. Agris.

But with the good has also come the bad.

"These coyotes are killing everything up and down the easement," Dr. Agris said.

In recent weeks coyotes and even a bobcat have feasted on swan eggs and his exotic deer. Dr. Agris knows because he has the pictures to prove it. Taken from a motion sensitive night camera, you can see a coyote standing over its kill. One is inside the fence and later there's another outside the fence. You can also make out the back of a bobcat. This is in the heart of the city.

Bellaire police want residents to cut off the food supply. They're warning them to watch their dogs and cats closely at night. They also don't want trash put out too early and suggest the alert be heeded by anyone who lives near a greenbelt.

"That's just their transit system, that's their highways," said Asst. Chief Byron Holloway.

Dr. Agris is adding two and a half feet of rebar below his fence and fiercely protecting his last remaining deer. They are like his pets and he doesn't know if he could stand to lose another.

"It's disheartening, kind of gets to you," said Dr. Agris.

Texas Parks and Wildlife consider coyotes and bobcats nuisance wildlife and since they are not a danger to people, they don't do anything to control them, a point of contention for Dr. Agris. They say the key to the issue is education. Protect your pets and property by getting rid of any potential food supply. Residents are right in the heart of the city and on a nightly basis residents tell me they hear the howl of coyotes.