Messin’ with the food chain

— image credit:

t While the

coyotes are away, the rats will play in Driftwood Keys.

DRIFTWOOD KEYS — Finding household cat collars in a coyote den is no comfort, but dealing with rats isn’t either.

Before March, Driftwood Keys residents had a problem cohabiting with coyotes.

“Ever since the development was built behind Driftwood Keys, it seems the coyotes migrated to the food sources,” said Michelle McDougall, Driftwood Keys resident. “People would hear and see them when they were out walking and they would follow them down the road. A lot of people walk with small dogs and it was always a fear that the coyote would come out of the brush.”

To combat, traps were brought in two months ago, said Bill Bugle, Driftwood Key Club president, adding it was a joint effort with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). “There isn’t any problem with them (coyotes) anymore. It was accomplished and done.”

Bugle said he didn’t know how many were trapped or killed in the process.

“They are wild animals. It’s their domain and they probably will be back,” Bugle said.

In the meantime, Driftwood Key residents have to put up with the rising numbers of rats and rodents.

“They (coyotes) prey on the swale, rodents, mice and rats,” McDougall said.

That’s what happens when people mess with the food chain, Bugle said.

“That’s the trouble. You get rid of the predators that eat the rats and you get more rats,” he said. “It’s a fine line to tread.”

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