Local News

Jan 16, 2014 4:35 PM by Sara Donchey

Illegal Coyote Trapping on Padre Island Poses Safety Risk

PADRE ISLAND -- Island resident Guy Davis was out walking when he smelled something rotting.

So he followed the scent, and came across what he described as a very disturbing sight.

"I was repulsed," Davis said. "I mean, this is--I hate to see this."

More than 25 dead coyotes were dumped on the side of Park Road 22, just outside city limits in Kleberg County.

This is the second pile of mutilated coyote carcasses that have been found on the Island in the past few weeks

"They've all been totally skinned out," Davis said. "Their ears have been cut off."

Texas Parks and Wildlife said that not only is it against the law to dump the carcasses on the side of the road, but it's also something they haven't seen before.

"I've been here as supervisor for a little over two years now, and the wardens that have been here longer have not encountered a dumping problem like this in the past," said Captain Marvin Tamez.

So who is killing them and why?

Shortly after they heard about the carcasses, game wardens got a tip that someone was laying traps on a busy stretch of beach at Newport Pass.

And when they went to investigate, they found a trap they think was laid out in the sand dunes to catch coyotes.

It's illegal to trap on public land without explicit permission.

And Scott Cross, the Director of Coastal Parks in Nueces County said no such permission was granted, in part, because trapping on a busy public beach just isn't safe.

"Imagine if you were walking through there in your flip flops and you stepped in that trap and that thing closes around your ankle," Cross said. "Theoretically, that thing could break your ankle. It could cut the skin. I mean it wouldn't be good...the end result would not be very nice."

Parks and Wildlife is still investigating the incident. They said criminal charges could be filed for illegal dumping and illegal trapping if they find the person responsible.

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