Coyotes in the City?

Now, to warn you all, this topic is a bit off our radar in a political science class, but it does deal with possibly creating new laws in a certain area of the country.  We talked about this in my environmental current issues class, and it made me think of how Rand and Kemmis may deal with an issue such as this one.

Cook County, IL, is home to one of the largest coyote populations in the U.S. which is not what most people would expect because it is an urbanized area.  Coyotes love to find critters among the trash, although they typically want nothing to do with us humans.  This is where problems arise…  People THINK that coyotes may attack them just like one little dog was attacked by a coyote in that area.

They point out that although Cook County is home to large populations of both people and coyotes but no case of a coyote biting a human has been documented there. The researchers compare this to the number of dog bites reported annually in Cook County, which ranges from two to three thousand. The point is not that coyotes pose no threat to people, but that from a broad perspective bites by domestic dogs present a far greater risk.” http://environmentalalmanac.blogspot.com/2009/07/cook-county-research-provides.html

Even with hearing those statistics, the fear of coyotes still exists in many people, including myself.  This is when Kemmis and Rand’s theories popped into my head when thinking about where to go from here with this situation.  My class began discussing whether we need to work together with the coyotes to make people feel safe, or do we need to physically remove the coyotes from the urban areas and only think of ourselves.

Using Kemmis’s view of civic republicanism, one might feel we need to educate the people of the community on how if we leave the coyotes alone, they will do their thing, and we can do ours.  We can help the situation such as limiting our trash and keeping our houses clean and free of critters.  It is a little sad, but small dogs may also need to be watched closely when being let outside.  This is do-able though.  It is working together for the common good, so that we can still live safely in these urbanized areas and not feel threatened by these “scary” animals.  In this scenario, we can also let the coyotes do what they want, and with less critters and such around, they may even go back to the wilderness environment.  Laws can be used to enforce the issue and make it work.

On the other hand, these animals have scared humans so much that they may feel Rand’s way of thinking is the way to go.  We need to think of ourselves and ourselves only in this instance.  This thought would lead to the removal of the coyotes… either by physically killing them, or relocating them to the wilderness.  In my opinion, moving them to the forests would be a much more humane way and would still follow Rand’s thoughts.

Does anyone have thoughts on this issue and have other ways we can use Rand and Kemmis to make things work with the coyotes in the area?  I’d love to hear your responses because I have only heard responses from the environmental side.

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2 Responses to Coyotes in the City?

  1. allisonrd says:

    I think that the answer is pretty obvious here: if coyotes aren’t truly bothering people, then why would they be removed from Cook County? However, if the population becomes too large (like the deer population in Michigan), it could raise some problems. For example, if coyotes become too numerous they could become more desperate for food and instead of dogs, move on to attacking small children. I think that the best way to deal with the situation is to educate the constituents of Cook County as well as monitor the coyote population.

  2. allisonrd says:

    I think that the answer is pretty obvious here: if coyotes aren’t truly bothering people, then why would they be removed from Cook County? However, if the population becomes too large (like the deer population in Michigan), it could raise some problems. For example, if coyotes become too numerous they could become more desperate for food and instead of dogs, move on to attacking small children. I think that the best way to deal with the situation is by adopting a little bit of Kemmis’ (by educating the constituents of Cook County like you suggested) as well as Rand’s (by monitoring the coyote population) ideas.

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