West Lake Hills to address coyote concerns



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Posted on December 3, 2013 at 7:10 PM

Updated Tuesday, Dec 3 at 7:21 PM

AUSTIN -- The West Lake Hills neighborhood surrounding Las Brisas Street seems to have a predator problem.

"We have coyotes in the neighborhood. I've seen them running up and down my driveway," said resident Denise Groman.

Groman attended a City Council meeting on Nov. 26 where the issue was addressed.

"They're everywhere, and they're creating havoc. Jumping fences, killing animals in a fenced yard. It's dramatic," says Groman.

Another neighbor wrote a letter to the council concerning coyotes and had all 28 adult residents on Las Brisas Street sign it. City Administrator Robert Wood says they voted to take action and will be working with wildlife biologist Stefan Hunt of Texas Wildlife Services.

"They're looking at using us to do some trapping and removal," says Hunt.

They'll first assess the area, which is wooded, just behind Westbank Market Shopping Center on Bee Cave road.

"A lot of times, especially in urban settings, yelling, clapping your hands, making loud noises, that doesn't always work. They get habituated to noises, and that won't scare them off," says Hunt.

He suggests by throwing rocks and being aggressive, the coyotes will cower to humans. Residents say a large coyote brought down a buck in one backyard. Hunt says it may have been a pack, especially this time of year.

"The pups are out of the dens, they're large enough. They're following the adults around, and the adults are teaching them how to hunt," he says.

Hunt tells residents to keep cats indoors after dark and walk dogs on a leash.