MEDIA RELEASE: Citizens Protest “Eco-Friendly” Hotel del Coronado for Trapping & Killing Wild Animals

MEDIA RELEASE: Citizens Protest “Eco-Friendly” Hotel del Coronado for Trapping & Killing Wild Animals

CORONADO, Calif. (April 14, 2022) — In Defense of Animals and outraged San Diego residents protested “eco-friendly” Hotel del Coronado’s cruel policy of trapping and killing wild animals on its property after a whistleblower reported native wild animals being killed. Future protests will occur at the hotel until it stops this deadly cycle of trapping and instead adopts a policy of coexisting with native wild animals, as implied by its Green Seal Certification. 

Watch the video:


 During the protest, hotel visitors and some of the hotel staff were shocked and dismayed to discover that the hotel is trapping and killing wild animals on its property. Hotel security threatened to remove the protestors, who were within their legal rights to protest on the property. After consulting with the hotel’s legal counsel, security guards welcomed the protestors. 

“Hotel del Coronado doesn’t deserve the Silver Level Green Seal Certification it received in 2016, and won’t until it adopts non-lethal alternatives and chooses compassion over killing,” said Lisa Levinson, Campaigns Director at In Defense of Animals. “That’s why we’re protesting the hotel’s cruel policy of trapping and killing wild animals and of greenwashing animal suffering.”

In Defense of Animals has called Hotel del Coronado General Manager Harold Rapoza several times, but has not yet received a response.

The 757-room oceanfront resort, which is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection, was Green Seal certified in 2011. It became the first historic hotel to achieve Silver Level Green Seal Certification in 2016, which was awarded for progress against “climate change, waste, natural resources, and health and well being — achieving higher standards of care and stewardship for the environment…”

However, the hotel is alleged to be contracting with Ecolab to trap and kill numerous animals on its property, including skunks and opossums, who benefit the environment by serving as ecological cleaning crews. The hotel issued an automatic death sentence to these animals because it’s illegal to relocate trapped animals in California. Thus, all live-trapped animals caught in humane traps in California by “pest control” companies are afterward executed in grisly and painful ways. 

Hotel del Coronado’s management has received opposition emails from over 14,000 In Defense of Animals supporters, urging them to cut ties with Ecolab and implement humane, non-lethal alternatives that prevent conflicts with wild animals.

Wildlife specialist and owner of Humane Wildlife Control Inc., Rebecca Dmytryk, agrees with the prohibition of relocating trapped animals because research shows relocated animals often die trying to return to their original territory. Moreover, removal of animals from a property in an effort to reduce their presence is a short-lived solution.

"Most people think if they get rid of an animal they will get rid of the problem. But the animals are not the problem, their presence is a symptom,” said Dmytryk. You must address the actual cause, which is going to be an attractant - a reliable food resource.”

According to Dmytryk, proper sanitation and exclusion — the process of eliminating access of animals to a food resource — is key to resolving nuisance wildlife problems, long term. Dmytryk also heads a non-profit business league, Humane Wildlife Control Association, which supports ecological pest management companies and provides referrals throughout the country. 

“Unfortunately, commercial operations are sold on the idea that they have to have poison bait stations around their property to control rodents. What they are not told is that these boxes of poisoned food actually attract all types of wildlife to the property, and can exacerbate the problem,” she added. 

California has made considerable efforts to ban the archaic practice of trapping wild animals. The state passed the Wildlife Protection Act of 2019 making it the first to protect furbearing animals by banning recreational and commercial trapping and fur sales. 

Southern California-based attorney Alan Kang of AK LAW ACPC reached out to the hotel to see if it would voluntarily adopt non-lethal methods of wildlife management. Despite sending a letter and requesting a response, there has been no communication from the hotel to date regarding this issue. 

Kang stated, “We strongly encourage the Hotel Del Coronado to take advantage of the numerous educational resources offered by In Defense of Animals, which ultimately lead to a win-win situation for the hotel, the environment, and our native wildlife.”

To bring local attention to this disturbing situation, In Defense of Animals and San Diego residents will host continued protests at Hotel del Coronado until hotel management cancels its Ecolab contract, ends its cruel policy of trapping and killing wild animals on hotel property, and adopts a new policy of coexisting with native wild animals. 

Members of the public are encouraged to attend peaceful demonstrations, and to take action to prevent the cruel and ecologically damaging trapping and killing of wild animals on hotel property: 

To find a local operator that uses, exclusively, humane and ecologically sound methods, visit the Humane Wildlife Control Association website:


Images (free to use with credit to In Defense of Animals):



In Defense of Animals, Lisa Levinson,, (215) 620-2130
Alan Kang,, (714) 388-6937
Ellen Ericksen,, (760) 408-4539


In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization based in California with over 250,000 supporters and a 39-year history of fighting for animals, people, and the environment through education and campaigns as well as hands-on rescue facilities in India, South Korea, and rural Mississippi.


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