City of Dearborn to consider intervention on coyotes amid increasing safety concerns, killing of cat

Posted at 6:55 PM, Apr 01, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 09:11:29-04

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) — "We have received an increasing number of calls for concern from residents as it pertains to coyotes in their neighborhood," Dearborn Mayor Abdullah Hammoud wrote on Facebook Monday, adding that the city has not signed a contract to trap coyotes, but that the police department has had "conversations with vendors about available options."

A spokesperson for the city said that coyotes have become enough of a concern to justify exploring the possibility of some sort of intervention.

One resident's cat was recently killed by a coyote, according to the spokesperson.

"Just the other day, we had a coyote come up to the back door of the house," said Moses (who asked that we not use his last name).

Moses said there are usually a lot of children in the backyard where his parents live. And as a father himself, Moses said he's particularly concerned about the safety of small children.

Mayor Hammoud said there they are not aware of any coyote attacking a child in the area. And there are no reports of coyotes attacking people in Michigan, but coyotes have attacked children in other parts of the country.

"I definitely think that they should be caught," said Moses. "I think better be safe than sorry."

Volume On: Hear coyotes captured on a Nest camera in Dearborn:

Volume On: Hear coyotes captured on a Nest camera in Dearborn

Instead of trapping coyotes, Craig Gorkiewicz supports educating the public on ways to scare off a coyote and ways to not attract them near your home.

"If there's no direct harm to or an attack on a human, why are we trying to remove coyotes from their natural habitat?" Gorkiewicz said. "I'm not fully against removing them as long as there's proper evidence that states that they are a problem."

Gorkiewicz said he'd like to see the city post signs if there are coyotes in an area while also advising people on ways to scare the animal including yelling or throwing a stick at them.

Most coyotes are afraid of people and will leave if you frighten them, according to wildlife experts, who also suggest making loud noises, including clapping.

Michigan's Department of Natural Resources said to remove food sources from around your home that may attract small animals, which are prey for coyotes.

It's important to understand that a coyote doesn't know the difference between a squirrel and someone's cat that is allowed to roam outdoors.

As Nancy Slanec walked her small dog around Ford Field Park, she said she never leaves her dog outside alone.

"I don't let her go outside by herself," Slanec told 7 Action News.

Ann Hunter, who also walks her dog around the park, does not think it's necessary to control coyotes. She said, too often, people leave food behind for wildlife.

"Put it someplace where the wild animals can't get at it," Hunter said.

Dearborn City Council is expected to discuss the matter this Thursday, April 4, at 7 pm at the Dearborn Administrative Center.