Residents want City of Mobile to trap and eradicate growing coyote population

By Lee Peck

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MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) — Encounters with coyotes have been a recurring problem for a few years here in Mobile. Jacob Blasius lives on Evelyn Drive near Mobile University Gate 1 and says the problem has only gotten worse.

“The coyotes would use my yard – walking through my patio – even when it was well lit with the curtains open – they could see me physically but showed no fear and felt free to roam my yard,” Blasius recalled.

Soon after, Blasius joined “Coyote Watch” – the Nextdoor app group which has nearly 550 members. The social media group alerts members through videos, images and even maps showing more than 115 sightings, mostly in Spring Valley and the Springhill area. And not all sightings have taken place at night.

They say most of the coyote packs would live on wooded properties owned by the city. As it stands, the city is only required to act when residents submit video evidence of aggressive coyotes.

“We noticed that the numbers continued to increase as they continued to reproduce. The existing ordinance does not seem sufficient to us, because we want preventive measures to be taken. We want to prevent future attacks, Blasius told Mobile City Council.

Before Mobile City Council on Tuesday, Blasius explained the group’s proposal. The proposal asks the city of Mobile to update its ordinance – requiring them to trap all coyotes, not just the most aggressive ones.

“They must be trapped and exterminated one pack at a time. You can’t just deal with an aggressive coyote that might be an alpha male or an alpha female. Alpha males and alpha females discourage other pack members from breeding, which means if you kill the alpha male and alpha female, you must kill the rest of the pack to prevent the rest of the pack from creating a population explosion,” Blasius explained.

The group believes that the longer the City waits to act, the more it will cost.

“Obviously the real fear is not so much that we’ve had attacks before – it’s that as the number of coyotes in the city of Mobile breed, multiply and spread to other neighborhoods, the potential for an attack on pets and humans will multiply significantly,” Blasius said.

The group says it’s optimistic the city of Mobile will work with them, but says if they don’t move forward, not only will they file a petition, but they’re prepared to make it an election issue.

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