Coyote management or human behavior management?
To the editor:
Sanibel is moving in the right direction in recommending the study for a future Coyote Management Plan; however, more paramount is the management of our own behavior.
We are privileged to live on this sanctuary island, which is remarkably different than most of Florida’s barrier islands. However, as with any privilege there is a corresponding responsibility. We must take responsibility for the well-being of our pets and ourselves as we share this island with bobcats, alligators, coyotes, crocodiles and man-made dangers like cars, bicycles, et cetera.
– If you allow your pets to run free, you have placed them in harm’s way. Not only from wildlife, but from vehicles and cyclists as well.
– If you feed wildlife on your property or elsewhere, you are putting yourself, your pets, other citizens and their pets in harm’s way.
– If you leave food out on your property, you are exasperating the problem as well.
– When you walk your pets at night, carry a flashlight and a sound device such as a whistle, shake can or air horn.
Realize that the majority of people who live on Sanibel do so for their love, respect and desire to live with nature’s gifts and are vehemently opposed to trying to manage and change nature’s conduct. Most of us consciously change our behavior to embrace what makes Sanibel a true sanctuary island.