Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Chelsea Coyote; Unleased Dog Harasses SI Seal

New York's Keystone Cops can't even nab a trapped coyote, with a brain the size of an egg, and we think they're smart enough to find and ticket scofflaw dog owners? Silly us.

When they do finally collar the beast, they should arrange to release it in Central Park during dog hours.

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Here is a video of an unleashed dog harassing a seal on the beach at Great Kills Park. Pets must be leashed at all times in this park, which is a unit of Gateway National Recreation Area,, and are banned from the beach entirely between March 15 and September 15. As we've seen at Plum Beach, scofflaw dog owners ignore both rules and NPS seems not to care. There is also something called the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act, which bars (among other things), "harassing" marine mammals, defined as including any act of pursuit, torment or annoyance that has the potential of injuring the animal or altering its natural behavior. One would think that loosing a dog on it would be included. The penalty for violating the act is a fine of up to $10,000, a bit more than that for letting the dog run loose.

But healthy seals can be pretty aggressive and nasty when disturbed. Their bite is even nastier. With any luck, one day one will bite a dog like this and, with even better luck, the owner too.

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