Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wylie Coyote, super genius

The closest I want to get to Wylie Coyote is watching him on Saturday morning cartoons. But lately our furry friends are moving closer and closer to home.

In the last few weeks I have had some up close and personal experiences with these territorial critters. I travel Williamson Road quite a bit. Today at 8:45 am one was hanging out just south of the entrance to the lake. Last week one was on the jogging path, waiting for a slow jogger I guess. A friend who lives in Little Forest Hills has cameras filming the outside of their house and yard. (I suspect she and her husband are in the witness protection program.) They had the experience of catching a coyote on tape snacking on their cat. On their front porch. But the story that really set me on edge was my 15 year old reporting that one morning as he walked to his car pool pickup a coyote strolled out of the alley on Kenwood and Sperry. My kid is fast, but I still don’t think he could outrun him.

This publication spoke with Robert Stalbaum, Urban Wildlife Damage Specialist with the Texas Cooperative Extension Service last May. He stated that there are “between 75 and a couple of hundred” coyotes around the lake. He also added that it is “kinder to euthanize coyotes than to try to relocate them.”

When I called 311 to discuss the coyote conundrum I was told I have two options. The first was to put in a wildlife spotting report. The second was to make an animal trap request. Animal Control would decide on a secure location to put the trap. Then it would be MY responsibility to monitor the trap and call 311 when I catch one. Then they will come out and ‘relocate’ him. “Gee, where would you re-locate him?” I inquired. “It would be up to Animal Services.” My guess is on the other side of the lake, even though the expert says that it is better to ‘relocate’ them to the big den in the sky.

I believe I may have an answer. Wolf urine. Seriously. I checked out Predator and wolves scare the heck out of coyotes. “When large prey (Coyote, Moose, Bear, Elk & Mule Deer) believe there is a wolf in the immediate area, they flee. By liberally marking an area with WolfPee, you duplicate the territorial marking habits of wolves in the wild. This illusion triggers an instinctive response in the prey. If wolves are around, these animals want to be far away!” And I bet you are wondering how the good folk at Predator Pee collect their little bottles of golden elixir. Here is the info - – the unreal truth is better than the real truth. I’m willing to bet it works. Redentas sold me some red fox urine to stop the squirrels from getting into our attic. You should have seen them freeze in their tracks and turn tail when they got a whiff of that stuff. I do recommend that you alert your next door neighbors as to what that lovely fragrance coming from your yard is.

It is a complicated issue. But in my opinion, ‘they were here first’ comes second to preventing toddler kibble.

Maybe its time to talk some road runners into some prime lakefront property.

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