We face a problem in our central Phoenix neighborhood: coyotes.
Amid all the new condos being built, there is a den of coyotes living on the Encanto Park/ Encanto Park Golf Course. And me and my other dog-loving neighbors worry about it.
Technically speaking, coyotes are part of the dog family but they also have been known to kill their canine cousins, especially smaller dogs.
If coyotes are in your neighborhood
In writing Happy Dog Phoenix, I contacted Arizona Game and Fish Department for advice about coyotes in the neighborhood (never thinking they would make it my central Phoenix ‘hood). They told me that if you see a coyote yell at it, wave your arms, make noise to scare it off. And remove all sources of food and water.
All fine advice.
Except I live next to large fields with plenty of hiding spots and small lakes. And lots of feral cats. I have good-hearted neighbors who feed stray cats, some of whom inevitably will become coyote food. There’s also other good-hearted neighbors, who see coyotes as just another one of Nature’s creatures and say we should just let them be.
I wish I could be so good hearted
But instead I selfishly worry about my little roly-poly potential coyote entrée, the Beagle, who would have no idea how to protect herself if attacked. She’s a goofball, not a fighter.
Would coyotes go after her? If the supply of feral cats decreases and the number of coyotes increase, they may. Also, these coyotes are not afraid. I yelled and screamed at the coyote lounging on my front yard, and he just gave me a look, a shrug and sauntered off into the neighbor’s yard. Another neighbor has to charge them with an air horn to get them to move.
What I am doing
Normally when I write a blog, I try to offer a solution. Right now, I have none. Except carrying a used golf club when I walk the dog, further cementing my reputation as a neighborhood eccentric.
On Monday, I contacted Phoenix Parks and Recreation. The first woman asked me to repeat my address because she couldn’t believe there were coyotes this far south. She transferred me to another woman who explained that they had unsuccessfully tried to capture the coyotes but they can’t do anything more until the coyotes become aggressive.
I explained that I thought that was just waiting for trouble, especially if the coyotes are living on Encanto Park, which can be filled with children during weekends. By her silence, she indicated that it wasn’t her decision.
Then, I then called my City Council representative, Laura Pastor and spoke to someone who promised to get back to me. For the past two days, we have played phone tag — not his fault.
I’ll let you know what I find out.
In the meantime, beware of coyotes in central Phoenix and of strange women walking dogs and carrying golf clubs.