An obscure federal agency has killed 18,700 animals in San Diego County since 2005, and we set out to find out why.
Starting in May, we began a rolling investigation to learn why the agency called Wildlife Services, an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, had killed mountain lions, ducks, bobcats, coyotes, even an alligator here. The agency works in secrecy, refusing to allow reporters to watch its trappers in action.
Now, five months later, we still don’t have complete answers from the agency. Though Wildlife Services has promised records we requested under the federal Freedom of Information Act, it has repeatedly delayed their production. Now, our May request isn’t supposed to be fulfilled until sometime later this month.