H/T to commenter D who created the images for this post.
New York City has room for almost one million foreign born on welfare but no room for 10 harmless coyotes. The government lied when it said that it would be impossible to rehome the critters.
A family of coyotes living near LaGuardia Airport were captured and euthanized, officials said Tuesday.
Workers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture had been staking out the critters for several days in the area around the airport. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said the coyotes posed a hazard to their workers and local residents.
“Last night, five coyotes were located and euthanized to help keep airport travelers, workers and nearby residents safe after the coyotes became acclimated to humans, increasing the possibility of an attack,” the agency said in a statement on Tuesday. “The actions were in accordance with the law for handling such situations.”
The news was heartbreaking for Frank Vincenti of the Wild Dog Foundation, who had been tracking the family since they first appeared this summer.
At one point he counted as many as eight pups and three adults.
“I heard the father howling and barking last night,” said Vincenti. “I saw one pup running through the Rikers Island parking lot (on Hazen Street) with his tail between his legs.”
Vincenti had been trying to humanely discourage the coyotes from coming near people. But workers at the parking lot and nearby cemeteries had been feeding the naturally shy animals.
“I thought I could make a difference,” he said.
The appearance of the coyotes had sharply divided many people in the animal rescue community.
Rescuers tending to a feral cat colony at the nearby Bowery Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant in Astoria were recently barred from bringing food because officials thought it would attract the coyotes. They claimed the cats were starving.
But others, who said the cats appeared to be able to come and go from the plant property, said the coyotes should have been left alone or humanely trapped and moved to a sanctuary.
Last week, philanthropist Jean Shafiroff offered to fund the relocation of the coyotes but the state Department of Environmental Conservation said the animals could not be trapped and released.
“When animals like coyotes become habituated to humans, relocation is not feasible as the animals will continue to cause problems once relocated,” the DEC said in a statement.
The debate over coyotes comes as they have been spotted more frequently around the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan. While the city recently launched a new public awareness campaign urging New Yorkers to learn to live with urban wildlife and keep their distance — there is no current policy for dealing with coyotes.
D’s website is in the blogroll as Vegetarian Gammy. Her Twitter is here.