Alabama town calls in feds over coyote issue

Associated Press

Decatur, Ala. — Fed up with coyotes plaguing their town, one north Alabama community is calling in the feds to get the problem under control — federal animal control officers that is.

Officials in Decatur have received numerous complaints about coyotes citywide, The Decatur Daily reported.

Now Decatur’s City Council has voted for an initial $5,000 expense to hire a federal agency to help out — the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Wildlife Services.

“I just want the city to get the coyotes under control,” said resident Karen Aldridge, whose Chihuahua, Zoey, survived a coyote attack Dec. 1.

She said Zoey is normally kept in a fenced backyard, but got free and quickly ended up in a coyote’s jaws. “I don’t know how she got loose, but she’s a fighter,” she told the paper.

The newspaper reported coyotes have been seen in woods near an elementary school and in a nearby drainage ditch. Residents are being discouraged from feeding stray cats that coyotes can prey upon.

Police Chief Nate Allen urged those with a coyote complaint to call a police non-emergency number so an Animal Services control officer can be dispatched to investigate — and order a trap to be set if warranted.

Captured coyotes are usually relocated as long as they are not injured, sick or rabid, Allen noted. He cautioned residents against firing guns inside city limits in trying to get rid of coyotes, noting the danger of stray bullets.