Coyote problems continue in Surfside Beach -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

'Snake Chaser' freed of Coyote duties in Surfside Beach

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SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - After failed attempts to capture the coyotes running wild in Surfside Beach, the Snake Chaser has been replaced.  Another company called Alpha Predator Control is now on the case.
Surfside Town Administrator, Micki Fellner, says the Snake Chaser used all his techniques to trap the coyotes without any luck. So he has ceased operations in September after about two weeks on the job. He did not charge the town for his efforts.

Fellner says the town is still receiving complaints from residents about coyotes.

"I want them gone and I think everybody in this neighborhood wants them gone," said Gary Rosenquist who lives on 5th Avenue South. "The neighbors can't walk their dogs down here they're afraid." 

Residents say the coyotes are living in the small, wooded area between Fourth and Fifth Avenues South. Rosenquist says he noticed the animals about six months ago.

Bob and Tamara Schirra own Alpha Predator Control. They believe the traps they use should work better than the live traps the Snake Chaser used.  A live trap allows the trapped animal to move within the cage. Snake Chaser believed that method was more humane as opposed to snare traps, which tighten around the caught animal.

"We don't use snare traps, they are illegal. We have what's called rubber-jaw foothold traps," Bob Schirra said.

Schirra explained his traps work like hand-cuffs and catch the animal's feet. 

Alpha Predator Control set-up nine traps Monday morning. Fellner says the town is giving them a month to catch the coyotes. If that doesn't work, the town will evaluate it's options with the Department of Natural Resources.

Town leaders originally hired the Snake Chaser, also called Russell Cavender, a wild-life removal specialist.

"I've caught possums; I've caught raccoons; I've caught cats, but I haven't caught the coyotes," said the Snake Chaser. "But I'm the type of person who is very diligent and wants to solve an issue and make sure that my clients are happy and when we don't, it's frustrating."

Donna Luegers lives in the neighborhood and she says she's concerned the coyotes are still in the area.

"I understand that they are hungry and desperate and they can hop fences if they know there is prey on the other side," she said. "But I'm concerned about the other people who are closer and have small pets and maybe don't have a fence."

According to the Snake Chaser, coyotes are listed as a non-native invasive species, and state law requires coyotes to be killed after they're caught. The Snake Chaser states he doesn't kill animals, however, he just traps them.

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