Some Port Aransas residents say they have a coyote problem, and the City Council is even taking up the issue at their meeting on Thursday night.
The City Council will discuss new ways of controlling the coyote population. The City already traps the coyotes in cages and relocates them, but now they're considering even hiring someone to come and shoot the coyotes.
"It's bad. They come through my yard every night," said Mary Ann Kelley, a Port Aransas resident. "When you're out walking with your dog, they'll come up right behind you. They're not scared of people."
Residents who live near the dunes said they are very concerned about the coyote population. Folks who have pets said they see and hear the coyotes on a daily basis, and that the coyotes are brazen. They say the problem has gotten worse in recent years.
"Because the more development there is, the less habitat they have to live in, and we were talking about it just the other day," said Sandria Stout, another Port Aransas resident. "They don't have anything left in the dunes to live on. I mean, they had rabbits, you know. There were like ground squirrels and stuff like that. There's nothing left. They have completely gone through all of that, and now there's nothing left except dogs and cats."
Stout is worried about her two black cats, and has gone to great lengths to protect them, pulling up planks and creating special ways for the cats to get in and out of the property and escape the coyotes.
Pet owners who live near the dunes and are concerned about the coyote population do feel sympathy for the coyotes, and do not like the idea of them having to be shot and killed.
Port Aransas Police Chief Scott Burroughs said that, a couple of years ago, there were four or five incidents in which coyotes did bite people who had fallen asleep on the beach. The chief said that, as the Council decides what to do about the issue, they should consider what unintended consequences might be caused by taking action.
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