Monday, February 02, 2009

Howling at the Moon

Temperature at departure = 24° F (-4° C)

The ride home tonight was interesting for a couple of reasons; the sun is setting a little later now and there was still some ambient light out when I left the office - and - there was a news truck with it's lights on in the parking lot of Founder's Park. As I rounded the curve through the woods I took a closer look and saw that the truck was from Channel 9. I figured they were doing a story regarding the city council's pending measure to trap coyotes.

When I got home I checked the station's web site, and sure enough, there was the story. I like the part where they say:

"the area near Antioch and 435 is a good example of why people in Overland Park are encountering wild animals in their yards."

Oh, come on. The site of the January attack on the pet dog was at 141st and Switzer ... 4 miles away. I suppose the news crew just wanted to find the first place off 435 with a parking lot that backed up to a bunch of trees. Had they asked me, I could have told them that there aren't any coyotes around Founder's Park, but there are groundhogs, bobcats, deer, beaver along with the ever present and pesky squirrels, rabbits and chipmunks. I would have gone on to say that I don't fear the coyotes, foxes and bobcats ... but I am constantly having to dodge the little mammals.

Of course, the coyotes I've seen in the area aren't the monster variety in the news report.

"Coyotes can grow to a large size: up to 4 ½ feet tall and as much as 45 pounds."

Hmmmm. I wonder, did they mean 4.5 feet long?

So, here's a thought: If they decide to trap the predators, release them at the park so they can get rid of the pests. Don't euthanize them.

At dinner, I told my family about the news crew and we all agreed that had I been close to them when they were airing the live segment, it would have been interesting to get as close as I could and howl. Fun to think about.

I would make a comment about how people that move into houses by the woods should expect to run into wildlife ... but we had a coyote in our yard a couple years back and we're a good mile or so away from a park that you'd think would support a pack of coyotes.

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