Tega Cay residents concerned with coyotes have their answer: It’s a trap.
Tega Cay City Council voted to hire Song Dog Wildlife Management, LLC to, according to an online community newsletter, “trap and remove as many coyotes as possible.” The Charlotte company will work with police and city management to identify areas receiving the most calls about coyotes.
The city doesn’t know how many coyotes live within its limits. Most complaints come from the Trailridge, Windsong Bay and Calloway areas along the golf course. The city has been working for months on the issue, hosting a public forum with wildlife experts and in December implementing a coyote management plan.
Song Dog will track the animals’ paths and dens before laying leg traps, which will be checked daily. Caught coyotes will be removed and euthanized off-site.
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Leg trap locations will be communicated to residents. Pets should remain leashed, as pets or humans could trigger the traps, too.
“While the ‘teeth’ are rubberized, we'd like to keep everyone but coyotes out of the traps,” the newsletter states. “They will be visibly marked with signage and orange surveying tape, as well as specific locations advertised through city communications.”
No guns will be fired in Tega Cay as part of the management plan. It is illegal to discharge a firearm inside city limits.
Former City Councilman Steve Forrest is one resident who called for more action as the city worked through what to do with coyotes, a significant problem in some neighborhoods but barely reported elsewhere. Forrest said one pet was attacked, and he suspects another was killed by coyotes.
“This was a move that was justified,” Forrest said. “I think it was the right decision. It was a combination of Council seeing their duty and public pressure helping to speed up the process.”
Part of the city working through a plan was the common belief among city residents and wildlife experts that coyotes aren’t an easily solved problem. They are resilient animals and removing one is no guarantee another won’t replace it.
“The action hopefully will ease the problem,” Forrest said. “No one expects to completely solve the problem.”
Wildlife experts say Tega Cay is in an interesting situation, compared to many rural parts of the state where a property owner can shoot and kill coyotes at any time. They are considered a nuisance animal. But firearms aren’t an option in more urban areas.
Forrest, who was critical for a time while the city decided whether to remove the animals, is thankful for the latest plan. As for people still bothered by the city removing the animals, Forrest said some animals are going to be in danger regardless.
“We are now hearing from people that have not been affected by the coyotes,” he said. “They believe it is not right to kill these animals. All I have to say to them is just look at all the missing pets. Just because yours is not affected doesn't mean it isn't a problem to the rest of us.”