Activists urge Port Authority not to kill LaGuardia Airport coyotes

The Nassau County SPCA has teamed up with State Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright and local animal rights activist Jean Shafiroff to save a pack of coyotes in Queens.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced on Thursday that it plans to trap and euthanize feral coyotes that have been living in what was once a vacant lot at LaGuardia Airport, but now serves as a parking lot.

“The coyotes pose a potential threat to our employees and members of the community, including children who use nearby baseball fields,” the Port Authority said in a statement.

Officials and activists, however, say the Port Authority was too quick to jump to a lethal decision. The groups held a news conference on Friday, urging the agency to find a solution that does not include euthanization.

 “Killing them is just going to create a vacuum and another pack is going to move in,” meaning the long-term problem will remain unresolved, said Nassau County SPCA spokesman Gary Rogers.

Rogers said the Nasasu SPCA wants to work with the Port Authority to trap and relocate the animals instead.

“Why is always the first reaction ‘let’s just kill them,’” instead of trying to work to find a solution that works for everyone, Rogers said, adding that people who have been monitoring the coyotes feel they are not a threat to the public.

The Port Authority said in its statement that repeated attempts to remove the coyotes have failed and the agency received permission from the state Department of Environmental Conservation to go ahead with its euthanization plan.

Rogers, however, is still hopeful for a different resolution, saying the Nassau SPCA only just learned of the plan and hopes to “find common ground so that everybody’s interests are met.”

“Somebody has to represent the animal interest and we feel that is our job,” he said.

The Port Authority has not yet returned a call for further comment.


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