NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - For months people who live in the Irish Channel say they’ve carefully watched a pack of coyotes in their neighborhood.
They’ve been captured on home surveillance video and even our Fox 8 cameras have spotted them.
"This is not what I thought was going to happen in a city. No," said Irish Channel resident Mary Hall.
Hall moved to New Orleans in 2018 from upstate New York. When she first noticed the coyotes, she was excited.
“I thought it was kind of thrilling that these wild creatures were walking down the streets in this town,” said Hall.
Her reaction to the animals changed when her neighbor’s pet cat was killed.
“That makes it a little bit difficult to absorb the whole thing," Hall said. “I’m used to having cats. I’ve had cats in my life for many years, so I know what it feels like.”
In a number of cases, these coyotes attacked other animals. Surveillance video captured a coyote grabbing a small dog and thrashing it around in it’s mouth before the Yorkie got lose. The pup was taken to the vet and didn’t have any injuries.
For weeks John Schmidt, a licensed nuisance wildlife control operator, tracked these animals working on a plan to catch them.
"I was pre-baiting them and trying to get them to locations where I can work on them and it worked," Schmidt said.
This week he caught four coyotes, “one night, three,” Schmidt said. “That was the second night. The first night, one."
He says a group of people in the neighborhood called and paid for his help.
"They're fearing for their little pets and maybe for their kids for that matters," Schmidt said.
Since putting up the traps, Schmidt says, he hasn’t heard of any sightings.
"I’m required by the state to follow a certain rule and I follow those rules. What are those rules,” FOX 8 asked. Schmidt simply responded, “euthanasia.”
Neighbors told Schmidt there are eight total coyotes in the pack. He said, “I know that there’s at least two left but they think there’s four left and I don’t doubt that.”
The idea of removing the animals caused some tension among neighbors, Mary Hall says she’s split on what to do with the remaining animals.
"I totally get it. I just think it's a difficult situation,” Hall said. “It's hard to know which side to come on."
Schmidt will leave a number of traps in the neighborhood with hopes of catching the remaining coyotes in the pack.