Rescue comes too late for Silver Lake coyote

Officer Greg Randall with Silver Lake coyote that was freed from a trap/L.A. Animal Services

The morning of July 30 found L.A. Animal Services officers Greg Randall and Hoag Dinh on Lucile Avenue in Silver Lake after someone reported that a coyote was eating something under some bushes. Instead, the officers found a coyote snared in a trap. In a wrenching video shot by Dinh at the scene, Randall spends several minutes trying to cut the wire snare around the coyote’s neck. The animal was eventually freed but died a week later from its injuries.

The officers learned that a resident had hired a wildlife trapper to set the trap after a “coyote vs. dog incident at the location a week prior,” Randall said in an email.

The officers posted the video on the department’s Los Angeles Animal Services Wildlife Program Facebook page. It’s a graphic and difficult to watch but the video was published to “hopefully educate and remove this method of trapping in Los Angeles in the future,” Randall said. He added the person who hired the trapper was also shocked:

The reaction from the property owner who hired the trapper was horror. Had it been known what would have happened to the coyote the trapper would never have hired to begin with. The property owner fired the trapper that day. In addition, those who have viewed the video are in agreement thus far that this is something that should not be allowed.

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The Animal Services Department advises that no one under the age of 18 should watch the video.  The video describes the location as Echo Park but Lucile Avenue is located in Silver Lake.


  1. This is so sad. As much as I don’t want to see and hate coyotes in my neighborhood (my dog was almost eaten by one last October) This is so inhumane. REMEMBER who was here first! Oh and yeah… the owner states “Had I known what would have happened to the coyote the trapper would never have been hired to begin with.” BS!!!!

    • How did they know which animal would be trapped? this is illegal and I hope that the homeowner and the trapper are held accountable!

  2. Did the resident not even receive a citation? Is there going to be any enforcement action? The article mentions that everyone seems to agree this was illegal.

  3. I love my cat and he is an outside cat. That’s the risk I take as a pet owner in this neighborhood where I know coyotes run rampant. We are trying to sanitize what still maintains to be a wild area. That is part of the pleasure of living here. What this guy did is sickening and ignorant and I hope the homeowner does get fined.

    • It’s also worth mentioning that your outdoor cat spends much of the day hunting and killing birds.

    • Don’t listen to these meanies, Your cat loves to be outside and was born to hunt. Though true there is a risk of being a coyote lunch or even more likely roadkill, in all probability it will live a happy life.

      • My hat is off to anyone who’s tried — repeat TRIED — to turn an outdoors cat into an indoors one. Buena suerte on that.

        • Well then, thanks for doffing your cap to me, Mr. Kuni. One of my two cats is a former streetfighting outdoor terror that’s lived happily inside for the last 10+ years. We’ll, maybe 9.5 years; he was pretty pissed for the first six months. I’ve also placed a cats from the feral colony that lives behind us with and they were perfectly happy to move inside.

          Domesticated cats are not wild animals. They’ve been bred to be companions and, as much as they might like roaming around outside, are happiest spending time with people. Anyone who thinks you can’t bring an outside cat in hasn’t really TRIED.

  4. I’m no fan of coyotes however, the illegal and deliberate torture of any animal makes me sick. I hope the murderous “trapper” is prosecuted and now this barbaric homeowner has blood on his/her hands.

  5. This is quite saddening. However, a word for all those feeling outraged at the cruelty. I’m pretty sure the noose is supposed to trap the animal by the leg in this type of trap, and this outcome was an unfortunate accident.

    • Believe it sad and inhumane a fate, but how many domestic pets did this coyote take out?

      • I hope they caught the one in our neighborhood. It’s been a while now since I last saw these coyotes in early morning around 2-4am.Usually it shows up at the corner of Mohawk & Elsinore.

    • The hiring and compensating of an alleged professional trapper using methods that resulted in the horrific destruction of the coyote is “unfortunate” to put it mildly, but not an “accident” by any stretch of the imagination.

      This would not have happened had sane and humane ways been employed to exclude coyotes from the property.

      • How exactly are you supposed to exclude coyotes that can easily scale a six foot fence which is the maximum fence height allowed by code?

        • Excellent question, skr: An effective device to aid in preventing coyotes from scaling fences are known as “Coyote Rollers,” which mount at the head of the barrier and prevent the coyote from being able to grab onto the top of it.

          • At $7/lnft uninstaled, not many can afford those unfortunately.

          • I got the sense you might either be asking rhetorically and you’d find a way to fault my response. You asked “How exactly how are you supposed to exclude coyotes that can easily scale a six-foot fence?” and I gave you the answer to it. Had you asked “How exactly how are you supposed to exclude coyotes that can easily scale a six-foot fence but not spend $7/lnft uninstalled?” I’d encourage you to DIY a similar and effective and far less costly system using brackets and PVC pipe as illustrated below.

          • I found fault with your suggestion because it increases the already high cost of fencing by about 50% and it was presented as such an obvious and easy solution even though it is out of reach of many people. Especially compared to trapping and killing predatory vermin. Plus there is also the even more common problem of coyotes going under fences, which necessitates trenching around the property and installing fencing below grade. That is extremly expensive. It’s a lot easier to tell people they should just humanely exclude coyotes than to actually exclude coyotes.

          • Yet I propose a DIY alternative suggestion that would drastically reduce that cost and you opt instead to suddenly look to the bottom of this hypothetical fence and bemoan the dollars involved in reinforcing that. You’re right in that it’s easy to offer solutions. As you’ve proven, easier still is it to shoot them down.

          • I don’t have coyotes in my property because I trenched around the lot and placed fencing below grade and filled the trench with broken concrete rubble. That plus some electric fencing works great. what I do have are elderly neighbors on fixed incomes that simply cannot afford the measures you suggest and are physically incapable of DIY solutions. I have neighbors that can’t afford fencing let alone the expensive solutions you suggested. They have small children like the one that was almost dragged into the bushes recently by a coyote in the cemetary. The solution in that case was to shoot three coyotes in the cemetary. You seem to not care about the most vulnerable in society. There is a solution for these vulnerable people available to city services, coyote population control. For those with the means your solutions are good ones, but they simply don’t comprehensively address the needs of all those living in high coyote danger areas.

          • You’re quite the double-sided coin, skr. On one side you complained sarcastically in another comment about Officer Randall coming to the aid of this coyote and it being a waste of city services and taxes. But in a complete flip from that stance you, being this champion for the elderly, infirm, and poverty-stricken masses who are apparently terrorized by the creatures and who are unfortunately unable to either have a fence let alone make it predator resistant, want to devote those stretched-thin city services and tax dollars to what you call “coyote population control” — a “solution” that doesn’t “comprehensively address” the issue because it has NEVER worked.

            For as long as humans and coyotes have been adversaries, humans have attempted to control coyote populations either by outright extermination attempts or by much smaller culls. Well guess what: The result has been the coyotes not only surviving those ill-conceived, short-sighted and reactionary efforts, but thriving.

            So you go ahead and cite that rare “coyote attacks child” incident as reason enough for loading up the firearms, marching into battle in a cemetery and killing three of them. Felt good, didn’t it? Yeah, you really showed them who’s boss. Trouble is, you know what the surviving coyotes did after losing those three? They went and “comprehensively addressed” their needs by making five more that looked just like the ones you destroyed.

            I have to chuckle at your accusation of me of not caring about the vulnerable in society because I have to audacity to promote effective precautionary measures that are sane and humane. It’s funny because to protect those vulnerable of which you speak, you’d rather use deadly force and send bullets flying through the city to cure the “coyote problem.” It’s not a coyote problem. It’s a people problem. People like you.

          • Yes, the coyotes survived the culls. They even thrived. But they were less likely to cause harm to those in urban environments because there was food to go around and they didn’t have to venture into people’s backyards to avoid starvation. Those that can afford to exclude coyotes should. But exclusion is not always effective and the excluded coyotes just end up in the yards of people that can’t afford exclusion. They don’t deserve to bear the burden disproportionately just because they can’t afford more extensive measures. That is where a cull comes into play. Now since this is an urban environment, it is obvious that simply letting everyone pick up rifle and start shooting is untenable. However, that is not the only way to cull a population. High caliber air rifles wielded by licensed and insured shooters can be effective in an urban area. Those shooters would know to only take shots when there is a sufficient backstop to insure safety. A cull can be done safely and with a minimum of expense. Just like we don’t have to eradicate the coyotes, we also don’t have to let them run wild and do nothing to control a dangerous population. Both of those solutions are at the extreme ends of the spectrum.

            With regards to city expenditures, you can try to paint me as being hypocritical all you like. All I’m saying is that I think it is a waste of money to try to save an animal that belongs to a wildlife population that needs culling. If they want to spend money culling the population in order to protect life and property, I’m all for that. Spending money to endanger life and property, not so much.

            Killing an animal never feels good. That is why we would always try to make it as clean as possible and didn’t use traps. However, regardless of how bad it sucks to kill an animal, sometimes it is necessary.

          • TRY to paint you as a hypocrite? You’re the one holding the brushes; with the one in your left you derided and dismissed Officer Randall for doing the job your taxes pay for, and with the one in the right you’re calling for more of your taxes to go to fulfilling future city budget that will include a contracted cadre of “licensed and insured shooters” roaming our streets with high-caliber air rifles taking out any coyote that can be put down if a sufficient backstop is present.

            You’re right that destroying an animal never feels good — and you’re right that it is sometimes necessary. But your idea of making it “clean” relates to reactive and ultimately ineffective killing, while my idea of making it clean relates to proactive measures that will reduce negative contacts with coyotes and certainly prevent the horrific results such as the incident central to this post.

            Since we’re going around in circles now, let me just copy and paste a modified version of what I closed my previous reply, and then sit back and await whether you agree to disagree or feel compelled to submit another counterpunch:

            Bottom line: You’ve got your way of wanting to deal with coyotes, I’ve got mine. But here’s the reality check: the city of Los Angeles is a faaaar cry from that farm you grew up shooting everything that could potentially harm your assets. As such your way of dealing with coyotes is never going to happen in so densely an urban environment, one in which the coyote is seen as an integral part of the urban wildlife foodchain, and not myopically as little more than a predatory threat. So you can sit behind your reinforced electrified fence and keep demanding the city start using deadly force against them, or, you can recognize the futility of that mindset and instead adapt toward a more productive way of thinking that in the end can be of benefit to those less fortunate than you. Your call.

          • If you have coyotes in your neighborhood you’re living in a neighborhood where you can afford it.

          • That is simply untrue. There are plenty of hillside areas in Southern California that are plagued by coyotes and have low property values and poor families. It’s not just the Hollywood Hills and Silver Lake that has a coyote problem.

          • You just love to disagree with everybody, don’t you?

      • I’m in agreement that people shouldn’t be trapping animals and was in the wrong here. My original comment was merely to point out that the trap was intended to merely capture the animal. Leave this to the Animal Control department. They know how many coyotes live around Griffith Park and will trap them safely and relocate them as need be.

        • The trap was not intended to “merely capture the animal.” California State law prohibits the relocation of predatory mammals. A trapped coyote is a euthanized coyote.

  6. Sadly this probably also explains the tiny coyote pup with the enormous ears who seems to be slowly starving over here on Edgecliffe. We take every precaution we can to keep our pets safe. But that’s got to be where it stops.

  7. I agree fleaman, what risk!? A proper pet owner would train the cat to be an indoor cat… I know, I had 2 for over 13 years and they were very happy living inside the house. Leaving a pet outside over night and unsupervised is just as inhumane as the person who set these traps.

  8. I was very moved by how hard the animal control office worked to save that poor coyote. Trapping is pure evil.

  9. The most incredible thing about this article is that someone managed to get animal control to answer the phone.

  10. I’m not completely certain, but in a quick search of animal laws, I could find nothing that says it is illegal within the city of Los Angeles (or the state of California for that matter) for a property owner to contract an authorized trapper to capture, remove and euthanize a coyote from their property. A snare is apparently also a legitimate method for trappers to use.

    The question of the infliction of cruelty upon the animal can be raised, but the argument can be made by both the property owner and the trapper that it was not intentional.

    An asterisk to add is that this dead coyote may not even be the one involved in the alleged “coyote vs. dog incident” that was said to precipitate this ill-fated trapping.

  11. Pets and other wildlife are also at risk of being trapped; what a horrible death. Trapping is inhumane and unacceptable.

  12. It would be a lot more humane if we could just shoot them like we did on the farm.

  13. Animal Services wasting money trying to save near death vermin. Next we’ll hear about them saving squirrels and pigeons with taxpayer dollars.

    • now we get to the root of it: you’re just a mean spirited curmudgeon who has no respect for life if it’s not yours. unbelievable.

      • Or it could be more of a terrible person with a terrible life sort of thing…

      • I place greater value on the lives of people and their pets than on coyotes. That is probably because I grew up on a farm where we were in constant battle with the forces of nature to maintain a livelyhood. We had to kill animals all the time in order to protect that livelyhood. Groundhogs were shot to keep cattle from breaking ankles in the pasture. Muskrat were shot to protect the integrity of the earthen dam of the cattle pond. After a while you get used to the reality that sometimes you have to kill things in order to maintaina safe environment. It’s not fun and we would try to make it as humane as possible with a head or heart shot instead of traps. we didn’t have the luxury of ignoring the grim realities of nature like those who grew up in a city.

        • point taken, but you’re not on the farm anymore. this is a hillside community that has always had coyotes. they are harmless for the most part as long as you take a few precautions with pets. I have lived over here for decades and have never (not once) had a problem. of course, I never put the cat outside to get eaten (or conversely to eat wild birds).

          they were here first, and we don’t have to kill them to protect livestock.

  14. I called this in. Here’s some video I took that night before I knew what was going on. It was choking for almost six hours. Terrible.

  15. Yes, domestic cats that come up against coyotes think they are dumb dogs, not something that is flanking them on multiple sides to kill and eat them. Cat’s don’t know the difference between a coyote and a pet dog.

    I saved a cat outside of my house near griffith park blvd/Tracy one late night–it was being stalked by 2 coyotes and they would chase, cat would run, then the cat would stop at it’s ‘safe’ distance and look at them (about 15ft), when the cat should be running for its LIFE, but nooo, it just thought it was a dumb dog.

    In the meantime the other coyote was flanking the cat on another side, while that cat was looking at only one coyote. I immediately ran between them and tried to shoo the ‘yote’s off, but they just looked at me annoyed. So I shoo’d the cat off, then walked back towards both ‘yote’s which were now pissed that they lost their meal, and they just stood there. I stopped about 9ft from them and eventually they turned around and left, slowly—not running from me at all.

    I’ve lived in SL, atwater, EP for many decades and I can’t count the number of friends pets (cats and dogs) killed by coyotes.

    Keep your pets safe. If they get killed by a coyote, then it is YOUR fault, the guilt trip is yours only.

  16. Imagine of that had been a family pet caught in the snare.

  17. Diligent non-lethal hazing by the residents themselves is the answer. Coyotes aren’t going to roam neighborhoods where they are being constantly chased, dinged with pellets or slingshots, and having bigger dogs routinely sicced on them. They’ll adapt by moving back to Elysian or Griffith Parks where many already roam with impunity and plenty of natural prey to hunt. GP coyotes are the healthiest and most numerous than I can recall in my entire lifetime. There have always been coyotes in these hills but it used to be rare to even catch a glimpse of them. Nowadays, i can hear them rallying every morning between 3am and 5am. They do seem to know enough to not be around during daylight, which is a good sign. The best thing for coyotes is to be terrified by the sight and scent of humans. We should do our best to make each and every encounter a stinging and scary memory for the coyotes.

  18. FYI.. The mother coyote lives with her pups, she had 5, they live in the reservoir that is fenced..next to the dog park and The Meadows, I have been in the area for 14 years and never had an issue with the coyotes and walk my dogs there daily..Hope you are happy asshole..What did the coyote do to you? Who are you to order trapping of them, they have names ..Betty and now her 4 pups..They live in the fenced area and wander at night always going back into the fenced area where there den is..I hope this gives you nightmares..jerkface! If you don’t like coyotes why did you move here?

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