Posted in:

PETA Urges Nags Head to Stop Killing Coyotes

Coyotes’ ability to adapt to a differing habitats, including suburban environments, combined with increased development, has led to its expanded range and increased sightings. Photo: Matt Knoth/N.C. Wildlife Commission

Reprinted from the Outer Banks Voice.

Saying it was responding to complaints of cruelty to wildlife, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has sent an appeal to the town of Nags Head to use methods other than trapping to control the growing coyote population.

“Trapping and killing coyotes isn’t just inhumane and indefensible — it’s also ineffective,” Daphna Nachminovitch, the animal rights group’s senior vice president, said in a statement.

“PETA is urging Nags Head officials to take a common-sense approach to living alongside wildlife, rather than trying to exterminate animals who are simply trying to live.”

Earlier this month, Police Chief Kevin Brinkley told the town board of commissioners that a private trapper hired by the town had caught 17 coyotes on town-owned property. They were subsequently euthanized.

The town is limited to the trapping season from December through February because it is one of five counties under rules to protect red wolves and because of limitations on firing guns in a populated area. Elsewhere in rural areas of the state, the animals can be shot on private property and during daylight hours on public land with a permit.

PETA appealed to the town to use methods that discourage coyotes from roaming around populated areas, such as keeping pet food inside, minimizing places they can hide and even placing ammonia-soaked rags in their dens to “evict” them.

Town Manager Cliff Ogburn responded to PETA with a letter noting that the town had consulted with a wildlife biologist and provided information on coyotes in public presentations and on its website. The town has encouraged residents to take many of the same steps the group is advocating, he added.

“My point is we don’t intend to treat any animal in an inhumane manner,” Ogburn wrote. “We do, however, want to address the concerns of our citizens and are comfortable with the manner in which we have trapped coyotes as it strictly adheres to NC General Statutes and is done so with the full knowledge of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

“As a community, we have been able to tackle and address our issues together in a collaborative manner and we will continue to educate the public in hopes of alleviating some of their concerns as we learn to adjust and manage living with coyotes in our area.”

PETA said it wanted information on whether the town plans to trap the animals again next season.

Learn More

This story is provided courtesy of the Outer Banks Voice, a digital newspaper covering the Outer Banks. Coastal Review Online is partnering with the Voice to provide readers with more environmental and lifestyle stories of interest about our coast.

About the Author

Rob Morris

Rob Morris is co-founder and publisher of "The Outer Banks Voice," an online newspaper in Dare County. He was the N.C. editor for "The Virginian-Pilot" for 12 years. Before that, he held a variety of editing and writing posts at the "Pilot" in the Hampton Roads area for 15 years and played a role in numerous award-winning projects. He was a reporter and writer with "The Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette" and the "Daily Press" in Newport News, Va. He lives in Nags Head with his wife, Patty, and daughter, Libby, and plays golf whenever he can.