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Sprawl to Blame for Coyote Problem

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I read "Beep Prepared" (News & Features, June 11) and am disappointed by the article's bias and lack of facts.

The main reason cited for the recent influx of urban coyotes was simply, "They're crafty." While it is true that coyotes are able to adapt and survive in several different settings, this is not the primary reason for their emergence in the city.

Coyotes' preferred habitat is a mix of forest and open land. Might there be a connection between the urban sprawl currently devouring much of the forest and field surrounding Richmond and the sudden "invasion" of coyotes in our local neighborhoods?

Yet it is convenient to blame the animal, particularly when we can vilify them with terms like "vicious killers," as Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Elaine Lidholm has done.

Style likely has raised the hackles of many a city dweller or suburbanite, several of whom may decide to blow the dust off the ol' .22 and head to the backyard for some target practice. A.,ªÝ just in case.

"Better Wile E. than me!"

Emily J. Cole
Richmond

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