Our community is going through its periodic Coyote Craze. Even though everybody knows that coyotes are permanent fixtures in these here parts, Leisure Worlders think they should be able to let their poodles and schnauzers run free without fearing they'll become Coyote Snacks. So our Google group has been clogged lately with coyote photos and sighting reports like this one:
Just heard that one of the roaming coyotes bit a dog as the owner was walking. Management needs to get fish and game to trap these coyotes now. That's dangerous.
So I replied:
Without the owner's name and manor number, that's hearsay information. The dog may have been on a retractable leash, or off-leash. And the owner may have forgotten to carry a can of Mace.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department recommends Living With Coyotes: "Remember, removal is usually a last resort. Coyotes will return to the same area if attractants such as readily available food and water are not removed."
FYI, coyotes consider the following items to be "readily available food": rabbits, geese, ducks, fruit on the ground, unsecured garbage cans and unattended pets. In other words, Leisure World has been, and always will be, a Coyote All-You-Can-Eat Smorgasbord.
Plus, coyotes move fast. If someone sees a coyote on the east side of LW, the animal can easily be on the west side in ten minutes. So posting pix and sighting information is essentially useless, and only serves to increase the sky-high level of paranoia around here. Instead, why not use your spare time to make coyote shakers, as the AZGFD site recommends? Then, practice improving your aim by throwing them at your neighbors' unsecured garbage cans. JMHO.