Animal Cops: Los Angeles (5/20/2012)

(This article was originally published by me as a guest author at the site called “Surly and Scribe.”)

We’re gonna get started now, so come on in officers, have a seat. Come on people, file in, find a seat. Everybody get your notebooks out, too, we’re gonna be taking notes here as we move forward. All set? Okay, we’re all here.

As you know, the purpose of today’s meeting is twofold: first, a status report on our seasonal eradication campaign of canis latrans, street name “coyote,” and our second purpose is to define the steps necessary to completely remove this varmint from our enforcement area.

I am happy to report that we are very close to the ultimate goal; population is down, reduced to what we believe are approximately 23 individuals remaining. There are also very few remaining alpha males; the population is imbalanced favoring bitches, so breeding is not likely.

Also, their normative behavior has been interrupted, by scattering their packs and disrupting their hunts. While these pests prefer grouping in fives, we have been successful in isolating one and sometimes two members, forcing the pack to function at a numerical disadvantage.

It should be noted that among the names for a group of coyotes, in addition to “pack,” is the name “rout.” We find this satisfyingly ironic. And, canis “latrans,” being coincidentally similar to “L.A. Trans” could provide interest in being much like both a reference to today’s expected transportation gridlock which we have mimicked to stifle their attack strategies, and also sounds like an alternative club name for the sexually dichotomous based near many parts of Santa Monica Boulevard. In this case, irony is a bitch.

In our 3 days of campaign so far, we have identified weakness in the opposition command structure which we believe will ultimately lead to this group’s full demise. Given that the latin “canis latrans” means “barking dog,” these animal’s behaviors become more readily understandable, and resulting strategies quickly become apparent.

Their eldest alpha should be their wisest, yet he is given to selfish behaviors, lone attacks rather than coordinated attacks, and has forgone proven hunting tactics of exhaustion and containment of the weakest individual prey prior to the kill by instead making solo charges against rested, well-defended herds.

Another of their lesser males, thinking himself to be a successor candidate as alpha, even replicated this behavior as if learned from the actual alpha. This maladaptive behavior caused the individual to be removed from the hunt altogether, during a most critical period of need for the entire pack. In all past cases, these types of inherent behavioral weaknesses each inevitably contributed to eventual extinction.

We have also identified what we believe is a human sponsor of the rout. Self-identified as “Dave,” this person unavoidably raises a question of whether this “barking” of “yelping” behavior is learned or only instinctive. It would seem that the development of this behavior, specific to this group, has been reciprocal in that both human and dog have readily made their voices heard when under pressure of imminent failure as if to complain against fate, yet those same voices have been absent regarding a productive rallying cry. The failed hunt produces a hollow echo from an empty belly, and rather than the satiated howl of triumph we have only heard the puppy-like yips of the resentful starving. As he bemoans the supposed bias of the scales of justice and hopes to appeal for what he believes to be balance, his actions will actually tilt that balance, allowing the objective observer to watch Dave tip it in our favor.

Moving forward, officers, we need only continue our current methods. Our opponents are facing two enemies; us, and themselves. We have forced them to the place where blame is assigned rather than credit is shared. Hunting parties long held intact are now cobbled together from among a weakened genetic pool. Leaders of sub-groups are more focused on imagined denials of justice instead of well-earned results of honorable effort.

What we once imagined as a prolonged, possibly 7-day war has now become a matter of simply replicating proven success; think not about the end-game, for you are in it. Think about the next task, and do it well, knowing that a reduced enemy is dangerous, yes, but less so with each passing event.

We are young, we are strong, and we are capable. We are proven, we are skilled, we are ready and most of all, we will get what we deserve and we will deserve what we get. This is our business, and we intend to finish our work, but in the end, it’s really just another day at the office.

We will scrub the desert clean of this scourge, and then briefly, we will feast. We will gather strength as we assimilate the basis for our success in this venture, for we know that even if we consummate our current success, we invite a new challenge. There is word of a rising threat from the East, and though we can not yet be assured victory here, the warrior in us is pleased to know that we have the possible opportunity of an even greater challenge ahead.

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