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Government Idle Science

Chicago Using Coyotes To Fight Rodents 222

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-the-chinese-needle-snakes-ready dept.
Brad Block, a supervisor for the Chicago Commission on Animal Care and Control says a coyote recently spotted downtown is part of a program designed to monitor the rodent population. "The animal has the run of the Loop to help deal with rats and mice," He said no one has called today to complain. “He’s not a threat. He’s not going to pick up your children,” Block said. “His job is to deal with all of the nuisance problems, like mice, rats and rabbits.”

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Chicago Using Coyotes To Fight Rodents

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  • Advanced notice? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @07:54PM (#34338194) Homepage

    Wouldn't it be nice to tell the public BEFORE you let the coyotes run wild?

    Oh, and by the way, we had to release some tigers to deal with the bugroeoning coyote population....

  • This is great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Strange Ranger (454494) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @07:54PM (#34338198)

    This is actually great. I sincerely wish Pennsylvania would culture a few nice wolf populations to control the deer. I'm tired of dodging them with my car.

  • by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @07:56PM (#34338218) Homepage Journal

    One neighbor of mine watched a coyote carry off her miniature dog, and when coyotes start being sighted, the Missing Cat posters start appearing.

  • by Grapplebeam (1892878) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @07:57PM (#34338232)
    sort of small, furry creature, say one with a long furry tail, specifically bred for this purpose over the past several hundred years that people wouldn't mind seeing around... Maybe one that enjoys drinking milk and- ah hell, screw the sarcasm. Why didn't they just use cats??
  • Re:This is great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sadness203 (1539377) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:16PM (#34338358)

    Dodging them isn't the point. If a deer leap in front of the car and the driver didn't have time to steer or break, well tough luck. Good chance the car is going to be a total wreak, and the driver's dead or gravely injured.

    A (well-feed) wolf doesn't have the habit of starring into coming lights, and in the case the driver hit it, well, it's going to be a bit less spectacular. A deer can weight up to 200kg, a wolf weight barely more than 60kg. Deers have an habit of smashing the windshield, wolves mostly hit the bumper.

  • Re:This is great (Score:5, Interesting)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:33PM (#34338480) Journal

    You're talking to someone who has hit a deer at 50+ miles per hour. (I don't know what that works out to in KPH, sorry.)

    Dunno about kilograms but the local DOT estimated the deer (a doe) weighed 160 pounds or more.

    We were ok, and it didn't even break the windshield. It did do over $3000 (US) damage to the truck.

    The secret to surviving a deer is to drive a truck of 1/2 ton or heavier, with the optional 4X4 package that jacks the truck up a few inches so the deer doesn't go over the hood.

    The problem I see with wolves is, if it *does* go over the hood, then you have a really pissed off wolf in the car with you...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, 2010 @08:59PM (#34338632)

    If they have the choice between a scrawny rat or a fat cat they'll take the fat cat. I live in an urban centre, near a golf course and have heard how the local grounds keepers occasionally clean out the cache where the golf course coyotes discard the things they cannot eat, collars, halters, dog tags, that sort of thing. We have a constant posting of lost or missing small dogs and cats in our area.

    Our city has taken a co-habitation stand with the coyotes which means that they won't take action against them. However, with our long range forecast for this winter being what it is I expect that having the coyotes starting to circle the playgrounds and schoolyards, licking their chops at the thought of taking some kindergarten through 2nd grader away might change that stance. I hope it won't take having some children actually killed but the government will do what it thinks is right, whether it is or not.

    There's an animal expert at the local university that's spoken up on the matter and says they should simply be hunted down and killed in the city. They're not endangered. They are a danger and they will continue to be a danger even if they are moved to a new location since they will find their way back to familiar (that means urban) environments.

    More and more I find this quote from the Tick (comic book/ cartoon character) appropriate, "You're not going crazy in a sane world, you're going sane in a crazy world."

  • by triclipse (702209) <slashdot@@@combslaw...cc> on Thursday November 25, 2010 @01:05AM (#34339766) Homepage
    This coyote survived being hit by a car at 75 MPH:

    http://www.snopes.com/photos/animals/luckycoyote.asp [snopes.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2010 @03:51AM (#34340558)

    Cats...perhaps the stray cat population. Anybody who allows their cat outdoors deserves to be snatched up. Most cats that linger outdoors are stray cats anyways, and if anything the coyotes are doing their job of keeping down the stray cat population which very quickly can grow out of control.

    Fact is that without us humans the coyotes would probably be a natural predator of the area. Reintroducing them is one way of establishing the natural balance in the food chain. I live in So. Cal. and anytime I see a coyote running around on the street I smile. They are taming the rat and cat population and ridding the neighborhood of yippy dogs that owners don't keep on their leashes and allow to bark all day at if as much as a leaf falls to the ground.

  • by indytx (825419) on Thursday November 25, 2010 @09:16AM (#34341978)

    “He’s not a threat. He’s not going to pick up your children,” Block said.

    What an idiot. Coyotes kill pets, and evidence from the Carolinas indicates they are now affecting deer populations by decimating the survival rates of fawns. Coyotes are dangerous, and they attack humans. There were 142 attacks on humans between 1960 and 2006. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=coyotes-suburban-attacks [scientificamerican.com]

    Coyotes have spread naturally to all lower 48 states because of declines in wolf populations. Another interesting tidbit is that the coyote is the only predator in North America whose recorded population has NEVER decreased, only increased. Why someone would give such an adaptable predator a leg up when it is doing fine is completely beyond me.

  • noooofluffy (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2010 @09:26AM (#34342060)

    The whole point of the coyotes is to get rid of rodents.... so any cats they kill is just part of the job.

Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition. - Isaac Asimov