The “Coyote Problem”

Agh, us faultless “entitled” humans. Practically every day I’m shown another example of how we think we do own the planet. This time it was on a rather small scale via an alert to residents of the next monthly Silver Lake Improvement Association gathering later this week.


As highlighted above, one of the items to be explored concerns “our coyote problems,” and you just have to know that kind of slanted, narrow sillytalk just chaps my coyote-loving hide enough to whip off an email to the boardmembers:

In regards to the item on the agenda of this coming Thursday’s community meeting, I may have to show up for once just so I can be one of those pro-animal hardcase voices in the wilderness that points a resenting finger at it being referred to institutionally as a “coyote problem.”

Sadly it seems I should expect members of the SLIA board to roll their eyes at anyone defending the creatures, but the fact is the coyotes’ presence isn’t their fault, it’s the fault of those of us who — be it inadvertent or not — provide them with predatory and scavenging opportunities.

And then there’s that little matter of burning down a huge section of their habitat in Griffith Park last May and forcing them to relocate. Lest we forget, that catastrophe wasn’t caused by a coyote that was careless with a cigarette, it was one of us human problems.

Will Campbell

UPDATE (3:50 p.m.): I ended up receiving a very nice reply from SLIA boardmember Lorraine Kells that demonstrated how easily I misconstrue irony when it comes to critters I heart:


I’m the guilty one.  I hurriedly made up the flyer with my typical Los Angeles tongue-in-cheek, ironic stance because the whole idea of having a wildlife specialist explain to people that the coyotes were here first and attracted by our garbage and wasteful habits is NOT their problem, but the problem of those who refuse to admit they live
in what was a wilderness scrub and home to mountain lions, bobcats, and coyotes which once thrived in balance should be obvious, but it’s not.  So, it’s our problem about ourselves, which we call our coyote problem.  Officer Randall does a great job of stating that.  You’ll enjoy him.

I don’t disagree with you, but I’m responsible for the irony which you took for intent; nevertheless there are many who view the animals as pests, so bring out your friends and fight for those critters.

Warm regards,
Lorraine Kells

To which I replied:

Thank you Lorraine. I fool myself into thinking I have an eye for irony and a sense of humor but it seems that’s never more not true when critters are involved. I’m familiar with Officer Randall and I’ll do my best to get to the meeting, but I’m also one of those fools that commutes to work (in Westchester) by bike (or even worse: carpools). Either of those crosstown scenarios might keep me from being there Thursday night, but I’m sure gonna try.


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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."