Recently, the San Lorenzo Valley campus has acquired some…unwelcome guests. It seems that a pack of wild coyotes has taken up residence within the borders of the school, and now roams the campus at night. The coyotes have already killed a number of small animals, including a cat and a deer, and they show no signs of leaving. However, the faculty—under the direction of Ms. Van Putten—is taking steps to remove the threat from campus to ensure the safety of the students.
The coyotes came under serious scrutiny only within the past month; however, there is some evidence that points to the presence of the pack far earlier. Many students remember the severed head of a cat that lay on the path to Castelli’s Deli a few months ago; members of the SLV staff are beginning to acknowledge that the cat was probably a victim of the pack of coyotes. Lately, though, the attacks have increased in severity and frequency; within the past two weeks alone, a dog’s head was found near the softball field, two more cats have been found mauled, and a dismembered deer was scattered over the soccer field. Soccer players have confirmed that there was still a deer leg on the field when they went to practice; according to Synclaire Reyes, “When we first saw the deer leg it was before practice and everyone was grossed out about it. Some of the girls went to get a closer look and then screamed and for the rest of practice we stayed away from that corner of the field.” These incidents are horrible and traumatizing for all those involved…luckily though, the faculty is working on solving the problem.
With the presence of the coyotes on campus becoming a problem, Ms. Van Putten, Steve Burley, and the SLV staff have set some rules in place to counteract their presence. First off, no one is allowed to feed the feral cats on campus anymore, as the cat food, and the cats themselves, have been feeding the coyotes. Mr. Burley states that “Both the high school and middle school continue to harbor cats and leave food out for them, which becomes a source of food for any larger animal that is looking for food”. Indeed, Mr. Burley advises ‘eliminating’ all feral cats from the campus, which would entail bringing in Animal Control or some other animal catching service. Most teachers have already stopped setting out food for the cats, and students are advised to throw away any food that might feed the cats or the coyotes.
Secondly, there are to be no more student forays into Fall Creek until the coyote problem is under control. Fall Creek is thought to be the most likely place of origin of the coyotes, and the staff wants to minimize the chance of any more large predators coming onto the campus. Almost every gate leading into Fall Creek will be locked, with the exception of the Aquaculture gates; additionally, staff members are encouraged to check that every gate is closed and secured at all times. The Disk Golf course is restricted, and all gates on the soccer field that border Fall Creek are being closed. These restrictions will continue to exist until the “presence of coyotes and other predators is reduced.”
Finally, and most importantly, students are advised not to roam around campus after 6 P.M. so as to avoid a potential attack by coyotes. Though small, coyotes can be dangerous in large numbers, especially when hungry and distressed. The coyotes that have been seen could potentially carry infectious diseases such as rabies, and the members of the staff do not want a rabid student to be roaming the campus in addition to the coyotes. Werewolves—or werecoyotes—are not permitted under Rule number 37 of the student handbook.
In conclusion, remember these rules: Don’t feed the cats, don’t leave trash lying around, don’t go into Fall Creek, and don’t wander around the school at nighttime. With the aid of the students in this matter, the coyotes should be driven away, and we can all sleep better at night knowing that our campus is coyote-free.