Gone But Not Forgotten
- Aug 18, 2002
- Reaction score
Officials Dismiss Coyote Urban Legend
Dec 28, 12:34 PM (ET)
By The Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Did you hear the one about the insurance agent and the coyote?
So have the Pennsylvania Game Commission, wildlife agencies in other states and insurers.
They all dismiss as urban legend claims that insurance companies and wildlife agencies are releasing coyotes into the wild to reduce deer-car collision claims.
"There's a lot of people that seriously believe that the agency has been doing this," said Carl Graybill, director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission's bureau of information and education. "The whole thing's pretty absurd."
While the agency doesn't track such claims, Graybill said wildlife conversation officers are occasionally questioned in the field about it.
It's illegal for anyone to release animals into the wild without a permit and the agency hasn't issued any permits to insurance companies, Graybill said Monday.
"No one ever comes forward with any proof that it occurred," Graybill said "People can be very gullible, too."
Over the last several weeks, Erie Insurance Group has had calls about the issue.
"It's just a fallacy. It's just not true. That's just not a way that we would manage our risks," said spokesman Mark Dombrowski.
To be sure, deer-car collisions are costly for insurers; about 150 people are killed in deer collisions annually and collisions cause more than $1.1 billion in vehicle damage, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.