In response to the letter by Hazel Ahrens ("We should hire people to shoot Galveston coyotes," The Daily News, May 26): We've lived behind Walmart on the seawall where several coyotes live. I've always had my dog on leash and we were never bothered when encountered. I've never known anyone to be attacked or bitten by them in the seven years we've lived here.

They have a lot more to fear from us than them. As humans, we must have compassion for all the other animals who are unlucky to "share" the same planet as us. Your suggestion that we "hire sharpshooters" to kill our fellow creatures is appalling and just mean. Coyotes pose no threat to humans as long as you respect their boundaries.

Keeping your cats inside would be best for them. Galveston is part city, part beach, and home to many species other than ours. Live and let live, or feel free to move.

Animals have a right to live just as much as we do.

Randy Jones

Galveston

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(10) comments

Dwight Burns

Amen!

REGINALD LACKEY

Well said, amen too.

julie baker

Agree!

Anne Reiswerg

So true! Great letter.

Craig Mason

Coyotes are apex predators, so if they are done away with, the island is going to be over-run with smaller animals and nuisance animals.

Wayne D Holt

There is no need to accept an either/or dichotomy regarding coyote presence in urban areas. I 100% agree with the sentiment that there is no reason to eradicate coyotes on Galveston Island. But it does not logically follow that we have to accept the present situation as the best possible, either.

Folks decry the loss of habitat for coyotes and how humans have encroached on their territory over the years. Two problems with that sentiment: 1) coyotes are three times more geographically extended in the US than they were in 1850. They are not on the verge of extinction, they are thriving, apparently; 2) you and I live in habitations that were built where coyotes used to have their dens. That chapter is past and no one I know is advocating returning Galveston to native habitat for them. So they roam in an urban environment that is not native to them but they have adapted to.

They are apex predators for wildlife on the island as there are no other species--other than human--that would hunt them here. Giving apex predators free reign in any environment that is not limiting will result in more of them as the habitat will continue to support more population.

Take a look at the new coyote tracking map that the City's Animal Services folks have set up at

https://galveston.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=2a050fdfef24457dbfa090675fcb4f16

Kudos to the City in beginning to address this issue rather than suggesting cleaning our barbecue grills, as they have in the past. Coyotes are seen from Fish Village to just about San Luis Pass...in other words, from one end of the island to the other. But I believe people are confusing a praiseworthy wish to protect nature everywhere with a belief in allowing nature to do its thing where humans have built complex urban social structures. Short of having a real-life experience like the opening scene from I Am Legend--a lion roaming Times Square in New York--one or the other will prevail. And in Galveston, humans have prevailed, for better or worse.

We should do everything possible to introduce humane, nature sustaining practices that minimize stress on coyotes who remain here. But it is not realistic simply to say they should be allowed to live as they choose to live. It is not cruel or selfish for humans to take an active part in guiding nature to our benefit. If it were, we would have no infrastructure that makes modern urban life possible. Let's continue to explore ways that hold potential to limit coyote incursions into our neighborhoods with intelligence and compassion...but not benign neglect.

Gary Miller

Wild life researchers tell us all predators adjust their populations to match the available food supply. If you want fewer Coyotes stop letting your pets roam free. Stop leaving pet food out and secure your garbage. No coyotes will starve but fewer will be born.

Bailey Jones

[thumbup]

Wayne D Holt

Gary, City guidelines include picking up fruit that has fallen from trees in your yard and cleaning grills, among other tips. Exactly how much adjustment of common urban behavior is to be expected, including leaving your pet in your fenced yard, before the obvious is admitted? If dogs are routinely picked up for running free, what would be the reason an apex predator would not be handled in the same manner?

Although the story headline is not written by the contributor but rather by the editorial staff, you can get an idea of what is being asked if you substitute the word "mastodons" for coyotes in "Coyotes have as much right to live as we do." There would literally be no City of Galveston in existence today if this had been the norm all along. A more honest, less disingenuous headline would have been, "Coyotes have as much right to supersede human activities as they choose to exercise." A lot more unwieldy but closer to the truth of this position.

Dwight Burns

Well stated.

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