Sandy Springs leaders take on coyote problem

by: Mike Petchenik Updated:

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga.,None - Sandy Springs leaders are discussing how to best handle the city's coyote population after several recent attacks on pets.

Councilman Chip Collins told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik that he has received dozens of emails from his constituents with concerns about coyotes.

"A vast majority said there was a problem and that something should be done about it," he told Petchenik.

Collins said he wants to hear what his colleagues think about the possibility of hiring a trapper to put a dent in the population.

"Is there something that our city can or should be doing to make our neighborhoods safer for our pets?" he asked.

Homeowner Kevin Whitson told Petchenik he would welcome city intervention. He told Petchenik his wife found a large coyote attacking the family cat several months ago.

"All but killed it," he said.

Whitson's Huntcliff neighborhood recently hired a trapper, and he said it's been successful.

"We've trapped several coyote and will probably do it again," he said. "We're really not seeing them like we were before, so I'd say we do it again."

Still, Whitson admits trapping is controversial. Some of his neighbors protested the move, saying the neighborhood should leave the coyotes alone and keep their pets inside.

Petchenik talked to trapper Chip Elliott about whether a city could really make a difference in the population.

"If you get a large areas, a square mile or more, and you're in the right part of the area, you can get the population down and keep it down," he said.

Still, Elliott said the "urban" coyote is here to stay, primarily because of the food supply.

"You're looking at an animal that eats absolutely everything, from live animals, dead animals, berries, garbage," he said. "You name it, he eats it."

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