Former Arcadia Mayor Does the Math on Coyotes

The number of coyotes has been steadily growing in Arcadia over the years, causing citizens to worry for the safety of their pets if taken outside. – Courtesy photo

After doing the math, the former mayor of Arcadia has her own solutions to solve the coyote problem

By Monica Sanchez

At a city council meeting on July 18, the former mayor of Arcadia, Gail Marshall, presented her math results on how many coyotes would reside along residents in a timespan of four years.

Marshall’s math was calculated based on a litter delivered from only one coyote:

“If you have one and she had eight; we’ll assume five will be female. The ones she has can start breeding the following spring. In the second year, those coyotes would turn into 40 new coyotes and 25 will be female. In the third year, we’ll end up with 200 new coyotes but 125 will be female. In the fourth year, you would get 1000 new coyotes and 625 will be females.”

“They are multiplying so fast and, when they’re born in civility, they don’t have much fear of people,” said Marshall.

“Her math is somewhat accurate if everyone in the litter survives,” said City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto, adding that Marshall’s math doesn’t consider that “it’s likely that only one of the males is reproducing with one or two of the females.”

Mr. Lazzaretto also mentioned that “If you start trapping coyotes, it puts shockwaves through the pack,” and they start reproducing out of survival, which could increase the numbers of coyotes in the area.

With an issue containing as many factors as the abundant number of coyotes in Arcadia, there is no easy solution, and ‘getting rid’ of them isn’t as simple as it sounds.

Although the City of Arcadia settled with PETA for $15,000 to cover legal fees over the coyote-trapping lawsuit, Mayor Peter Amundson did ask PETA at a past city council meeting to relocate the coyotes, and PETA “avoided the question the first two times the mayor asked it,” ultimately saying they didn’t want to disturb any animal environments, according to Mr. Lazzaretto.

PETA’s Senior Vice President of Communications, Lisa Lange from Pasadena, was one of the representatives from PETA who spoke at past city council meetings regarding the issue and shared PETA’s official stance on coyote relocation:

“Relocating coyotes would be as misguided as Arcadia’s plan to kill them, as it’s illegal to relocate trapped wildlife in the state of California. These animals pose no harm as long as people act responsibly and never leave their companion animals outdoors unattended. Residents can effectively encourage coyotes and their prey to move on naturally by properly disposing of trash and installing nonlethal deterrents such as motion-activated sprinklers and flashing lights.”

Regardless of PETA’s willingness to relocate coyotes or not, Mr. Lazzaretto confirmed that “the state prohibits us from relocating coyotes.”

But Gail Marshall believes that Arcadia still has one option to push back coyotes from ‘civilian territory.’

The City of Arcadia is a part of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments, which consists of 31 cities, where regional problems are addressed. Marshall believes that “our liaison should get them talking about it (coyotes) and encourage it and pay for a lobbyist together to go to Sacramento.” Lobbyists are expensive, and the City of Arcadia may not be able to pay for one alone, but Marshall thinks it’s more realistic if those 31 cities band together in order to hire a lobbyist to advocate for the rights of San Gabriel Valley citizens concerning this matter with coyotes.

Until a lobbyist is hired or if the status quo remains, Marshall, after doing the math, has her own tricks to ward off coyotes from her property and as far away from her pets as possible.

Marshall suggests to take an umbrella, open and close it and “that scares them off.” Another trick is to haze coyotes by putting rocks or coins into a can and rattling them, but she said that “doesn’t solve the problem…then they go into your neighbor’s yard…and they’re just being pushed around the community.” Pet owners can also go online and purchase a coyote vest for animals, which is “made out of the same thing that bullet proof vests are made of,” Marshall claimed.

Another internet item that boasts as coyote repellent is wolf urine. Marshall fully intends to use predator pee, saying it “comes in spray or granules or you can go to Home Depot and order it, but then you have to go pick it up.” And City Manager Lazaretto confirmed that wolf urine is “in our coyote management plan” for the City of Arcadia. Homeowners with coyote problems are supposed to line the perimeter of their house with wolf urine. Since the wolf is a predator of the coyote, a coyote’s “natural instinct for survival kicks in” when they approach the property, said Marshall.

If purchasing wolf urine is too disturbing to think about, then you can always emulate the former mayor of Arcadia in another way and walk outside with a golf club in hand, ready to protect your pets while they do their business.

Marshall also told this reporter that “I love animals and I don’t want to kill any animals, but people in the city don’t want their pets being killed by wild animals.”

*Written for Arcadia Weekly


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