Phony coyotes used to scare gulls off OC beach

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SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. (AP) — Scarecrows have some new four-legged friends.

An Orange County beach plagued by seagulls is trying to scare them off with fake coyotes.

Park ranger Kevin Estrada put a pair of the pretend predators on Poche Beach over the weekend. He tells the Orange County Register on Wednesday that so far it seems to be working.

Gull droppings have fouled waters off the beach near San Clemente so badly that officials had to post bacteria warnings this summer.

Efforts to scare off the birds with ultrasound and then with hawks and falcons worked for a while, but the falconer’s contract ended this fall and since then the gulls have begun returning.

Authorities say they’ll keep the phony coyotes up for about a month to see if they’ll do the job.

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Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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