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Whitaker 1 Brittany Whitaker Professor Wanda Grimes English Composition I 1010-R50 10 October 2012 Coyote Ugly Located in one

of the most affluent counties in the nation, Franklin, Tennessee with its downtown built around its historic square has a surprising ugly problem. In a suburb where land starts at $40,000 an acre and goes up from there, and it is only the rare parcel that is not already under some developers control, there is a growing epidemic. It is as unexpected as it is ugly, and it is ugly. And it growls. It will eat your pet if you are not careful. I know this because just last week my neighbor had her tiny little cotton puff of a Maltese, a mere wisp of a dog, carried off. The event was memorialized by my neighbors screams as she stood transfixed while her

much loved pet was carried off in the jaws of the latest suburban nightmare coyote. She had let her little angel, Casper, out to potty and was standing in her doorway. Her gaze never wavered, her watch never faltered, as Casper ran to his favorite spot some thirty feet from her door. Casper was still intently sniffing and working himself up into his customary find-the-perfect-spot frenzy when the pack of six coyotes came swooping down. The pack leader hardly even slowed his pace as he scooped Casper up, gave him one violent shake and snapped his neck, all in one fluid motion. The coyotes had exited her yard taking Caspers lifeless body with them before my neighbor could even comprehend what she was witnessing. But comprehension came and with it came her screams of horror and loss, set against the backdrop of coyotes howling in the distance, creating an almost eerie duet. That was the fourth pet to disappear in our neighborhood in the last two weeks.

Whitaker 2 The mournful howl of the coyote can be heard more frequently in Tennessee because its numbers are increasing according to the Tennessee Wildlife Commission. Surprisingly, the

Commission predicts the coyote population to explode in Tennessee over the next several years despite all the new subdivisions springing up destroying the coyotes natural wooded habitat. The new subdivisions and construction only eliminated wolves, the natural predator of coyotes. Coyotes have easily adapted to the urban environment which partially explains their surge in numbers. Coyotes are better than dogs at observational learning. Although coyotes prefer freshly killed meat, they can exist on insects, grass, fruit and vegetables. Their dietary adaptability is just one of the many reasons the coyote population is expanding. Persistence is another reason. Coyotes are patient stalkers, observing their prey and contemplating the best means of attack. Coyotes excel at the stake-out and have been known to stalk their prey without a break for periods as long as 21 hours. Unlike the majority of wild animals, coyotes adjust their hunting techniques according to their prey. Local animal controls will not aid a subdivision or homeowner in coyote removal because they are wildlife. Coyotes are incapable of being domesticated and, therefore, do not fall under local animal controls purview for collection and removal. The state Wildlife Commission only studies the coyote and will not come to the aid of a homeowner or subdivision with a coyote problem. After my neighbor called the wildlife commission to report what happened to Casper, the head of the commission told her that she was only exacerbating the coyote problem in the subdivision by feeding them. The coyote population is rapidly expanding because no one at the state or local level in Tennessee will take responsibility for coyote population control

Whitaker 3 Coyotes are fast becoming the latest urban nightmare for those who live in Franklin and its surroundings areas. Despite the destruction of their natural habitat, coyotes have easily adapted to their new urban environment by adding pets to their daily dietary requirements. State and local agencies will not assist the local homeowner with what is becoming a consuming problem.