LETTER- Coyote story stoked fear

I am extremely disappointed with the sensationalized article about coyotes ["Invasion of the doggy snatchers? Uptick in area coyote sightings has residents nervous," April 23.]that served only to create unwarranted fear.  Instead of demonizing an animal that would be very useful to us by limiting deer and Canada goose numbers, you would do better to sensationalize the deaths and injuries that result from vehicular traffic.  This type of story, along with pictures of dead and injured people instead of coyotes, might at least wake people up to the far more dangerous nature of their own behavior in cars– speeding, tailgating, running red lights, and talking on cell phones.

 I have never come close to colliding with a coyote, but my car has been hit by drivers engaged in the aforementioned poor driving habits, causing me to be hospitalized and then suffer severe neck, shoulder, and arm pain for years after one such encounter.  The fact is that people fear something they are not familiar with way out of proportion to the more-familiar things they should fear a lot.

 We need to learn to live with predators, or else we will continue to have an overpopulation of deer and geese to contend with, both of which do bring death, injuries, and property damage via car and plane collisions. (I discuss this issue in my book, The Nature-friendly Garden, which is available at local libraries.)

 If parents and pet owners watched over young children and pets as they should be doing anyway, and if farmers purchased guard dogs or llamas to protect their animals, there would be no reason we could not coexist with coyotes. 

 And for Mike Dye of the Department of Game & Inland Fisheries to say that coyotes are listed as a nuisance animal because they are not native to this area is ludicrous when the DGIF spends a lot of money stocking non-native trout and other fish in local waterways.

 The only bright spot of knowledge in this entire article was Mr. Kirschnick's comment about coyotes bolting if they smell a human.  Otherwise, this entire article is nothing more than fear-mongering.

 The Hook usually adheres to a higher standard of journalism. I hope we won't see this type of "reporting" again.  

Marlene A. Condon