Columbia Theological Seminary moves coyote traps in response to community concernsA photo of a trap spotted on property owned by Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur. Photo provided to Decaturish
This story has been updated.
Decatur, GA — Columbia Theological Seminary has moved coyote traps on its property after a parent said his daughter nearly got stuck in them.
The parent, who asked not to be identified, said his daughter found three traps along Shoal Creek between Kirk Road and McKinnon Drive. She tripped two of them but wasn’t caught in the traps. The property is owned and controlled by Columbia Theological Seminary. It’s often used as a cut-through by pedestrians, he said.
“It could’ve been really bad,” the parent told Decaturish. “Another inch and my daughter would’ve been stuck there staked to the ground.”
The parent contacted the city of Decatur and the Department of Natural Resources about the trap. On Tuesday, he spoke to a game warden, who told him the seminary would be using “more humane” traps with better signage.
A spokesperson for the seminary said the traps have not changed and were always humane.
“The traps being used are called foothold traps, and they are designed to immobilize the animal, but not hurt the animal,” the spokesperson said. “The traps are small, about the size of a man’s hand.”
He confirmed the traps have been moved from the path, but are still on the property.
“Columbia Theological Seminary is a ‘Creation Cares’ community,” the spokesperson said. “We believe in God’s love for all living beings. We are committed to the safety of our neighbors and our community, as well as the safety of the animals that inhabit our beautiful area. We join all our neighbors in this responsibility and gladly partner to make this area secure for us all.”
Here is the full statement from Columbia Theological Seminary:
COLUMBIA THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY STATEMENT ON COYOTE SIGHTINGS IN THE AREA
(DECATUR, GA) – Columbia Theological Seminary thanks our neighbors and community members for expressing concern about the issue of coyotes on or near our campus. Being a good, responsive neighbor is a commitment we take seriously, and we always welcome hearing from fellow members of our great community regarding matters of shared concern.
In July, we received reports from concerned neighbors about a coyote den and activity on a trail on our property that we hadn’t been aware of. Those reports involved instances of coyotes chasing pets, being territorial and confrontational. Others have also seen coyotes roaming the neighborhood, even during daylight hours.
With the safety of our students, faculty and staff and their families, community school children, and our neighbors who enjoy our campus being of paramount importance, we directed our landscape contractor to clear brush on the property. With the presence of coyotes, our contractor was also concerned for their workers’ safety.
We contracted with another private company to safely and humanely catch the coyotes. DeKalb County Animal Control doesn’t provide this service and suggests using a contractor. We also notified the neighbors who contacted us that we would work on this issue.
We were informed that the trapping equipment and techniques are used only to capture the coyotes and do not hurt them. The traps were being checked daily, according to our contractor. Traps were set on the side of the trail but have been moved away after neighbors reached out to us.
To ensure the area remains safe, we have made the trail area off-limits to the public and are placing signage in the area.
Columbia Theological Seminary is a “Creation Cares” community. We believe in God’s love for all living beings. We are committed to the safety of our neighbors and our community, as well as the safety of the animals that inhabit our beautiful area. We join all our neighbors in this responsibility and gladly partner to make this area secure for us all.
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