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Signs in Griffith Park warn visitors not to feed the wildlife

Concerned about the safety of park visitors, Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge on Monday erected the first of dozens of signs urging the public not to feed the wildlife in Griffith Park.

The decision was prompted after two visitors were bitten by coyotes in separate incidents in September, officials said. The two attacks initially sparked a controversial eradication effort in which hunters killed eight coyotes in the 4,210-acre park. The eradication effort ended in after two days.

Before climbing a ladder and bolting a sign off Zoo Drive, LaBonge said some people might think they’re helping the coyotes by feeding them scraps such as sandwiches or chicken bones, but they’re not.

“We have to respect the wildlife and nature to a greater degree,” LaBonge said. 

Feeding the coyotes is illegal and can carry a fine of up to $1,000 and jail time, LaBonge said.

More than 70 signs will be installed in the park, mainly in popular areas such as trailheads and picnic locations. LaBonge said the signs were a direct response to the eradication effort.

Gregory Randall, the wildlife specialist for the city, said it’s hard to gauge how many coyotes reside in Griffith Park, but that between 4,000 and 7,000 are believed to live in the Los Angeles area.

When the public feeds the animals, it disrupts their natural habitat, Randall said.

“They don’t need our help, they need to survive on their own,” he said.

Tom McCall, the principal grounds maintenance supervisor for the park, said the Thanksgiving holiday is one of the busier times of year for the park, especially when the weather is warm. The Griffith Observatory is expecting 12,000 to 15,000 visitors this weekend, he said.

LaBonge, who hikes in the park every day, said he often sees coyotes.

“I never feed them, we just say hi to each other,” he said.

--Nicole Santa Cruz

Comments () | Archives (11)

I cannot believe the city has to spend money on signs to enforce basic common sense and to remind people not to act in an idiotic manner.

I'd like a poodle to go, please...

Wylie Coyote

They warn people about signs because of lawsuits. Who are they gonna sue the wilflife?

How about one sign at the entrance, and one at the exit? Is this too complicated for the city of L.A.? Oh!, I fogot that it has to be in 20 different languages!!!

How about one sign at the entrance, and one at the exit? Is this too complicated for the city of L.A.? Oh!, I fogot that it has to be in 20 different languages!!!

Why is being such sarcastic jerk so acceptable? I'm an L.A. native and I just bet that Mr. Finney is NOT. I'm so glad to live in a city with diversity and different cultures. If you don't like it here, Finney, there's plenty of places for white men who only speak English. You should move there. Leave LA to us people who like it here.

the city is looking for more fines! they need money.

One language, please...English. Also, tell my neighbors not to feed the squirrels, and my other neighbor not to feed stray cats. Or maybe I should just move to a place where people have a a brain. Folks, encourage your neighbors to think about their actions. And encourage your representatives to make English the one, the only, and the official language of California.

C'mon guys, this is 2009 California. Even with the signs, someone will try to feed a coyote, get bitten, and have a 100 attorneys filing claims against the city.

la bonge
is it taking about city hall
dont feed bribes to city hall crooks

Many years ago, while returning from a ride, I found myself crossing the landfill at sunset. I was set upon by a pack of around 12 coyotes who slowly strolled across the fill to put themselves directly in my path, others surrounding me. They simply sat down and stared at me, blocking my way. I considered dismounting and looked for rocks, then thought it a bad idea. Then I remembered about kicking my horse, which was never a good idea. I kicked, he launched into his hi-ho Silver and away, and the coyotes parted, very slowly and only far enough for us to pass in a full tilt gallop. I was 15 at the time and well remember the creepy feeling. I wonder what would've happened if I'd been stupid enough to dismount...

Oh!, I FOGOT people like Brian Finney love to cowardly hide behind their computer screens and spew rascist sarcasm.

Considering the lousy grammar, Mr Finney is clearly unable to master ONE language, so he probably won't understand the signs in English anyhow.


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