Feeding wildlife would be banned under proposal

PHOTO BY PAM LANE/DOWNEYDAILYPHOOS.COM   Children feed the ducks at Wilderness Park.

PHOTO BY PAM LANE/DOWNEYDAILYPHOOS.COM

Children feed the ducks at Wilderness Park.

DOWNEY – As part of its ongoing battle against coyotes, the Downey City Council is considering an ordinance that would prohibit the feeding of wildlife.

City Council members will consider the proposed ordinance at its Tuesday meeting.

Coyotes have long been a source of frustration among residents, who blame the wild coyotes for attacks on small pets.

In response, the City Council drafted a Coyote Management Plan in 2017, which included an online coyote reporting system.

Earlier this year, the city also established Coyotes Out of Downey (COOD), a volunteer group tasked with assisting with neighborhood education efforts and coyote hazing.

Coyote sightings continue, however, and city officials say part of the problem is residents are leaving out food for wild animals.

“Prohibiting the feeding of wildlife can assist the City’s efforts in deterring coyotes by eliminating food sources and ultimately limiting coyote encounters,” Vaniah De Rojas, assistant to the Downey city manager, wrote in a staff report.

If approved, the Downey Municipal Code would be updated to prohibit the intentional and negligent feeding of wildlife in Downey. Violators would face administrative citations.

The ordinance does include certain exceptions, such as for bird feeders, vegetable gardens, fruit trees, and residents who use food to humanely trap wildlife on their property.

NewsEric Pierce