Encounters with Wildlife: Coyotes in Our Community
Posted by Councilmember Englander on June 12, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Recently, our office has received a number of complaints about coyotes in the area. Here are few tips when encountering a coyote:
What should I do if a coyote approaches me?
Wave your arms. Shout in a low, loud tone. Throw objects at the coyote while maintaining eye contact. Make yourself look as big as possible. If you are wearing a jacket, take it off & swing around over your head. If possible go towards active or populated areas but do not turn your back & run from the coyote as that could trigger a chase.
How can I keep my dog safe?
Closely supervise your dog. Do not leave small dogs unattended in your yard. Walk your dog on a leash at all times & stay close to high pedestrian traffic areas. Avoid dense brushy areas or paths near abandoned properties. If you notice a coyote when walking your dog, keep your dog as close to you as possible & move towards an active area. Never encourage or allow your dog to interact or “play” with coyotes.
How can I keep my cat safe?
Keep your cat indoors at all times. If your cat must be outside, consider constructing an outdoor 6 sided enclosure that is made of heavy gauge wire or chain-link with an enclosed access way to the house.
How can I keep my children safe?
Make sure that your children never play outside in the same clothes they just ate food in. Wildlife may be attracted to food odors in clothing. Make sure children wash thoroughly after eating. Provide children with a whistle and breakaway necklace they can blow if an animal approaches. Never let them approach any stray animal. If a coyote approaches, they should face the animal, move slowly to another person or dwelling entrance, raise their arms over their head, clap their hands, stomp their feet, blow a whistle, and call out in a stern loud voice “There is a coyote here.” The best thing to do is avoid leaving children unattended.
Deterrents & Scare Tactics
Sprinkle cayenne pepper or chili powder in areas where coyotes sleep to deter them from staying. These types of deterrents do not last & will need to be repeated if they become wet. Do not use these methods where children have access & do not use near air ducts.
Use motion activated strobe lights, sprinklers, or radios that are set to talk or news stations to help deter the coyotes. Use caution as strobe lights can trigger seizures in people or pets with epilepsy.
Use a coyote shaker can. This is a can containing a few coins which can be shaken & thrown towards a coyote. Throw tennis balls, open & close an umbrella towards the coyote, bang two pans together, blow a whistle, use an air horn, or use a high pressure water sprayer. Alternate the deterrents to prevent coyotes from getting used to one method.
Final Thought: Keep in mind that coyote attacks on humans are rare with most attacks taking place as result of people feeding them. Coyotes should be frightened off when the chance presents itself to keep them fearful of humans, which benefits coyotes and people. Coyotes will always be around, trapping throughout history has not changed that. If trapping worked, there would be no more coyotes since it has been done over 200 years.
If you have further questions about the Wildlife Program or would like to report a wildlife sighting, please call (323) 225-9453 to leave a message for the officers. You can also contact my Field Deputy, Jonathan Coto at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 882-1212.
-Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District
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