LDWF: Coyote captured at Dat Dog 'humanely euthanized'

Coyote on borrowed time after capture at Marigny restaurant

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The coyote that was captured after being found inside of a Marigny restaurant has been "humanely euthanized," according to a spokesperson with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries. The spokesperson adds that it was done based on rules and regulations set by the Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator program. The NWCO regulation states:

Raccoons, skunks, feral hogs, coyotes and nutria shall not be relocated and shall be euthanized, within 12 hours of capture, in accordance with the current American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines on euthanasia.

The animal was scheduled to be picked up Monday night from the trapper's home by a licensed rehabilitator permitted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and taken to a refuge in Benton. But the spokesperson says doing so would have a violation of the NWCO rules and regulations. The violation would have resulted in a possible citation and loss of license.

The LDWF spokesperson says that the trapper euthanized the animal according to AVMA guidelines as required by NWCO rules and regulations.

The sight of the animal Sunday morning in the Marigny caught many off guard. The coyote came in off the street and went straight to the second floor of the Dat Dog restaurant on Frenchmen Street.

"It was a complete surprise. We were both scared of each other," said bartender David Scroggins.

Scroggins was closing up around 2:30 a.m. Sunday. He's used to dealing with customers who don't always want to leave, but he was taken aback by the four-legged visitor who sneaked by and ran straight for the popular patio.

"The coyote ran under the chairs on his own," Scroggins said.

Restaurant managers got a warning 10 minutes before the coyote showed up.

"We got a call from a bar down the street that we heard there was a coyote running around Frenchman," said Dat Dog manager Joni Cormier.

The coyote slipped in a side door, and shot up the stairway.

"I'm surprised it didn't go into the kitchen," said Dat Dog employee Victoria VerHagen.

Employees said they knew exactly what they were dealing with when they heard the coyote howl twice after they penned it in to the area.

"We got everybody from upstairs and trapped the coyote on the edge of the balcony with some chairs," said VerHagen.

"These things do bite, and they're fast as lightning," said trapper John Schmidt, who was called to capture the animal.

"First I thought this was a joke - Dat Dog restaurant on Frenchmen Street," said Schmidt.

Schmidt is an expert who has captured dozens of coyotes across the metro area. He called in fellow trapper Suzy Howard to help.

"I calmly put this thing around it's neck, and that was it," said Howard.

Schmidt's home is a tribute to the game he's caught, with boar's teeth jewelry, deer antler chandeliers and trophies everywhere. And now, he has a coyote outside whose days may be numbered.

"The rule says this has to be euthanized unless a zoo or scientific study or a refuge would want to take it," Schmidt said.
 Bartender David Scroggins has now created a drink called the "Wile E." in the coyote's honor.

"It's got a root beer and a coconut flavor to it," said Scroggins.

It's a concoction that may come in handy, if more wild animals show up at Dat Dog's door.

Schmidt said coyotes are common along the riverfront and in neighborhoods from Uptown to Algiers. He said he did capture another coyote in a Marigny courtyard about five years ago.

LDWF says that coyotes can carry rabies and potentially carry other wildlife diseases/parasites that pose a threat to humans and other animal populations.

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