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Reckless Greenwood Village Coyote Killing Resumes

Date
February 17, 2011
Contact
Nicole Rosmarino (505) 699-7404
In This Release
Wildlife

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Reckless Greenwood Village Coyote Killing Resumes

3 coyotes killed and put in city dumpsters; 1 wounded coyote flees to Centennial
Contact: Nicole Rosmarino (505) 699-7404

Greenwood Village, CO—Feb. 17. In the span of twoweeks in January, Greenwood Village police shot 4 coyotes, one of which fled tonearby Centennial. All of the shooting occurred between 2500-3700 E. Long Road,located next to the Highline Canal. None of the coyotes was involved inaggressive behavior when shot. Especially concerning is an incident thatoccurred on January 21, when a police officer shot and wounded a coyote, whothen fled. The shooter tracked the animal for ¾ mile, at which point theinjured coyote fled southeast to Centennial.

“We’re outraged that the police are again killingcoyotes on sight in Greenwood Village,” said Nicole Rosmarino of WildEarthGuardians. “Killing coyotes doesn’t work. With its long history of lethalcontrol, this city should know better than any other that killing coyotes doesnot solve any problems.”

The shootings make January 2011 the bloodiest monthin Greenwood Village since December 2009, when police shot 4 coyotes and ahomeowner also killed one. The violence against coyotes comes in spit of a High Country News report in lateDecember 2010, in which Greenwood Village police were quoted as saying “‘thingshave quieted down a lot.’”

Residents are calling for the city to adopt amanagement plan that emphasizes coexistence with, not killing, coyotes. GreenwoodVillage’s coyote management plan is the most lethal in the Denver metropolitanarea. By allowing the city to kill any “habituated” coyote, it permits killingof any (and every) coyote in the city. It stands in contrast to plans andpolicies followed by Centennial, Denver, and elsewhere, which generally focuson hazing and education efforts and reserve control for coyotes who demonstrateaggression toward people. Those cities recognize that coyotes are a nativecarnivore that is a natural part of the Denver metro area’s environment.

WildEarth Guardians and some city residents havemaintained that the city’s indiscriminate shooting program is much more of athreat than any that coyotes pose. In addition to the coyote wounded on January21, police officers have previously wounded animals and not tracked them downand euthanized them. The police may therefore be creating a graver problem, ofdesperate, maimed coyotes.

“As a resident of Greenwood Village, I havewitnessed the cruel shooting and trapping of coyotes for years. The city is notacting with the best interest of the public in mind. Its resort to gunfirecreates more problems than it solves,” stated Kristin Pittman, GreenwoodVillage resident.

In response to public criticism, Greenwood Villagehas stated that it is hazing coyotes. But the recent spate of shootingsindicates the city has continued with a tactic it has used for over 16 years:killing coyotes on sight.

Scientists have discovered that coyotes in lethallycontrolled populations may increase breeding and have larger litter sizes.Thus, killing coyotes can, ironically, increase coyote populations. Coyotes area native carnivore and play an important part in Colorado’s ecosystems. Bycontrolling smaller predators, they benefit ground-nesting birds and otherwildlife, thereby maintaining greater biodiversity.

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“We’re outraged that the police are again killing coyotes on sight in Greenwood Village,” said Nicole Rosmarino of WildEarth Guardians. “Killing coyotes doesn’t work. With its long history of lethal control, this city should know better than any other that killing coyotes does not solve any problems.”
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