Living in Northern California, we are surrounded by natural areas which mean close proximity with wildlife. In recent news, a single coyote has attacked both grown men and children. These incidents have been identified as an “anomaly” happening throughout California. In 2020 there were over a dozen coyote bites, 3 mountain lion attacks and half a dozen bear encounters.
Capt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife believes that this is possibly because people are spending more time outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are tips to keep coyotes out of our neighborhoods.
*Information provided by California Department of Fish and Wildlife
“Coyote country” precautions
- Never feed or attempt to tame coyotes. The result may be deadly conflicts with pets or livestock, or serious injuries to small children.
- Do not leave small children or pets outside unattended.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
- Trim ground-level shrubbery to reduce hiding places.
- Be aware that coyotes are more active in the spring, when feeding and protecting their young.
- If followed by a coyote, make loud noises. If this fails, throw rocks in the animal’s direction.
- If a coyote attacks a person, immediately contact the nearest Department of Fish and Wildlife or law enforcement office.
Stash Your Food and Trash
Allowing coyotes access to human food and garbage is reckless and deadly.
Coyotes primarily hunt rodents and rabbits for food but will take advantage of whatever is available including garbage, pet food, and domestic animals.
- Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
- Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates.
- Bring pets in at night, and do not leave pet food outside.
- Avoid using bird feeders as they attract rodents and other coyote prey.
- Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry and other livestock.
- Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
- Ask your neighbors to follow these tips.