Residents in a prosperous Southern California neighborhood infested by a pack of coyotes are urging authorities not to trap and kill the animals.
The coyotes took up residence in a home that was gutted by a fire last fall, and have since given birth to a litter of pups. Homeowners say the canines have been showing up almost daily to lounge in their yards and refuse to be scared away.
The animals have presented a dilemma to residents and authorities.
Wildlife officials are considering trapping and killing the coyotes. Homeowners in Glendale are asking city and Los Angeles County officials to wait until the burned-out residence is demolished next week in the hope that the animals will simply move.
Residents in this upscale neighborhood where TV host Mario Lopez lives say they moved here to be closer to nature and don't want to see the animals harmed.
"It's kind of taking the wrong turn here," said Cathy Malloy, who lives next door to the coyote den. "There are about 40 people up here that would trip those traps anyway."
Ken Pellman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures, said his agency has been looking into setting traps but that it would be a last resort if the coyotes don't leave and become aggressive.
"It is just one of the possibilities considered when there are concerns about coyotes," said Pellman, who has received a half dozen calls from residents concerned about the coyotes being euthanized. "It does not appear to be necessary at this time to trap the coyotes."
Coyote sightings are not unusual in Los Angeles and residents in neighborhoods close to open space are particularly accustomed to dealing with wildlife.
Rita Cohen lives near the burned-out home and said two weeks ago one of the coyotes tore up her spa cover.
"It's a pain but I don't want them euthanized," she said. "I don't think it'll do any good anyway because they're all over."
Asked if she thinks they will move on once the house is torn down, Cohen said: "They will go — probably back to my yard."