TYBEE ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — Coyotes make look like a neighborhood dog or something that you want to pet, but do not be mistaken. They are a dangerous predator and some say they have become a nuisance on the island of Tybee.
The City of Tybee just finalized its plan to bring in a tracker to help reduce the population of coyotes and ease the minds of residents and visitors on the island.
“We have come up with a plan, pretty much the only plan, to address the issue, which is to bring a coyote catcher in to trap the coyotes and help us reduce the population so we can avoid any conflict between humans, domestic pets and wild coyotes,” said Michelle Owens, Acting City Manager.
Coyotes are native to North America but they are considered an invasive species in Georgia, much like armadillos or raccoons.
Owens stated that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources prohibits poisoning coyotes, so the only two ways to reduce the population are by trapping and shooting them.
“What they prefer to use these days are a foot snare and then the trapper will come and eliminate the coyote usually with a gun and a lot of people ask us why we don’t just shoot them because that seems a little more humane but Tybee is only 3.5 miles long and there are families and children and tourist and that’s just not feasible,” Owens explained.
Owens says that the island has seen an increase in numbers because of development elsewhere.
“With all of the development that’s going on east of Tybee, we have been told a lot of those coyote populations relocating to Tybee due to the development and being replaced, and as long as there is a food supply, they will continue to procreate is what we were told,” stated Owens.
Many residents of Tybee do not agree with the practice of removing the coyotes in the way the city has decided, but Owens says this is their only option. She says the animals are not allowed to be relocated due to the transmission of rabies and tells us any animals that are not coyotes caught in the traps will be released
The city is asking for any feedback to be emailed to them at email@example.com.