City Council Members bring in experts to talk about coyote problem in the Irish Channel

Growing concerns over coyotes in the Irish Channel

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -There’s growing concern about a pack of coyotes roaming the Irish Channel. A City Council Committee brought in experts Thursday to find out what they can do about the problem.

They’ve been spotted lounging in homeowner’s back yards; both the parents and the pups. They’ve also been captured on surveillance video walking past a house and even cornering and eventually killing a cat.

FOX 8 previously obtained video of a coyote grabbing a small dog and thrashing it around in it’s mouth. The yorkie was able to get away, but the coyotes are still causing problems in the Irish Channel.

“Because the two adults have had pups, and now we’re seeing the pups out we’re concerned that they’re going to be more aggressive because they’re going to have less food available to them,” said resident Nicole Webre.

She spoke to City Council members Thursday during a Quality of Life Committee meeting.

“What we do now is we make sure we don’t leave food out, we don’t leave compost out. When we see them we act large, we make loud noise, we do everything the Humane Society recommended in terms of hazing the coyotes,” said Webre.

But, she says they’re not deterred by those preventative measures. We also captured video of one of the Irish Channel coyotes hanging out in a lot on Washington Avenue. The neighborhood where this is happening is in Councilman Jay Bank’s district.

“I also know that Nicole and her neighbors are very concerned so give me a fix for them, give me something that I can suggest they do to relieve their fear, but I also want them to be basing their fear in reality that this is probably been a problem that has been there, but they’re just seeing it more,” Banks directed that statement to wildlife biologist Melissa Collins with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

“After you’ve done preventative and you’ve tried deterring, then the next step is take,” Collins responded.

“And, by take that means to get a private trapper?,” Banks asked. “You can contact a nuisance wildlife control operator who can come to your home and remove those animals for you,” Collins responded.

John Schmidt, known as “Trapper John”, is one of those licensed nuisance wildlife control operators. He was also at the meeting. He offered this advice to neighbors.

“Hire somebody to take the coyotes out of the neighborhood,” said Schmidt. “The truth is coyotes are not all bad, it’s not bad that you have coyotes, but there are things that are going to happen that people aren’t going to like, and eating their pets is one of them.”

“At this point we’re just trying to get information on what we can do to prevent an attack or prevent them from getting too aggressive,” said Webre.

One expert at Thursday’s meeting said we may be seeing more coyotes in urban areas right now due to the recent high water levels at the river.Coyotes are known to frequent the river banks and because the river has been high since January it may have pushed them into neighborhoods.

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