Stay Safe! Tips for Avoiding Coyote Conflict
2013-07-24 · By Editor
Coyotes are part of the natural habitat in California, and they are increasingly adept at searching for food in cities because their natural habitat has increasingly been encroached by development. Coyote conflicts with humans are extremely rare, even though coyote activity is higher during this time of year as this is the season when they are raising their pups.
The City of Long Beach Animal Care Services (LBACS) would like to remind the community that they can decrease their chances of a coyote conflict and protect their pets and family by following the these guidelines.
- Never feed any wildlife, especially coyotes, intentionally or unintentionally. Do not keep pet food outside, secure garbage cans and pick up fallen fruit from trees. Keep and feed your pets indoors, especially at night.
- If you walk your dog, keep your dog on a leash at all times as required by municipal codes. If possible, avoid walking dogs in the early morning or at dusk, which are prime feeding times for coyotes. Keep small pets indoors, especially cats – they are an easy favored prey.
- Educate children how to recognize a coyote and train them on what to do if they see one.
- Coyotes and other predators may be attracted to areas that provide protective cover. Remove hiding spaces by keeping brush and weeds from around buildings cleared.
Many coyotes have lost their natural fear of humans. The best thing that you can do if you see a coyote is to “haze” them. This involves standing tall and making yourself look big while waving your arms; yelling at them to go away; throwing objects toward them; or spraying them with water. It is essential that coyotes retain their natural fear of humans. Never run from a coyote. Keep constant eye contact with the coyote and continue to move toward other people, a building or an area of activity.
It is also important to remember that coyote attacks on people are extremely rare, with an average of only 10 coyote attacks on people a year in the United States and Canada, according to The Humane Society of the United States. To our knowledge, there has never been an attack on a person in Long Beach.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency please call 911. LBACS advises residents to report coyote attacks, threats and aggressive behavior at (562)570-7387. If coyotes are sighted in areas where there are children (schools, parks, etc.) or if the coyotes are acting aggressively, an officer will be dispatched immediately.
LBACS takes reports of coyote activities and forwards any threats to pets or people to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife so that they may respond appropriately. To report a coyote incident online and for further information on reducing conflicts and hazing techniques, visit www.longbeach.gov/acs/wildlife.