LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Moncus Park is home to some of Lafayette’s most beautiful views; but the area once housed more wildlife, like coyotes, that have now been driven closer to residential areas and that’s a growing concern for people who live there.

Melinda Voorhies has lived in her mid-city subdivision for almost two decades and has enjoyed the peacefulness it offers. But lately, she’s had one too many run-ins with coyotes, which she says are a threat to the neighborhood, and the nearby Moncus Park.

“I think it’s a public safety issue. Since you’ve taken away their habitat, they’ve got to eat which means they have to go somewhere to find the food, so here we are,” said Voorhies.

Voorhies has fostered several cats over the past 18 years, but this summer one of her worst nightmares came true when her cat, Sadie, was taken from her.

“Dalfred, it’s heartbreaking. Actually, heart wrenching. It actually bothers me to stand here and be talking about it,” said Voorhies.

We’ll spare you the gruesome details of what was left when Sadie was found. Voorhies says her concern now is for the small children and pets that occupy the 100 acre outdoor attraction that is Moncus Park.

“The children in this park that are not in close proximity to their parents, I think, are in jeopardy. Just like animals who are off leash, small animals. That means they are subject to that, same thing in the neighborhood,” said Voorhies

Jim LaCour with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries told us it’s rare for coyotes to attack humans, but small animals make prime prey.

“These coyotes can come from 3 to 5 miles away every night to come into the urban areas to eat garbage, around dumpsters, and, of course, small stray, pets, or pets that are not confined in a fenced yard are subject to being attacked by them,” said LaCour.

Traps are in short supply this time of year as the Lafayette Animal Shelter and Care Center reports coyote sightings increase while they hunt and get ready for winter. Plus, an increased presence of wild animals in urban areas is usually expected when large portions of their habitats are cleared for subdivisions and even parks.

Coyotes are very smart animals, they are hard to trap and it takes a lot of expertise to trap them regularly. We did reach out officials with Moncus Park to ask about their plan to address coyotes.

“Coyotes are transient and at times can be seen or heard in urban areas, including near Moncus Park. Under the direction of Wildlife & Fisheries experts, Moncus Park management has proactively set traps to mitigate potential risks associated with the presence of coyote,” said the Moncus Park Team.

They also encourage community members who encounter coyotes to contact LDWF.

You’ll find a link for Nuisance Wildlife Control and Removal here.

If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community and you need me to investigate, send me an email at