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Santa Monica Animal Control Wants Coyotes Fearing Humans


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June 19, 2017 -- Spring and early summer means Santa Monica’s already great weather becomes even greater. But it also means that newborn coyotes enter the world. And not just in some far off natural area--but in the neighborhoods, City officials warn.

Officials did not mention any specific sightings in a statement released this past week, but said said this is the time of year that “the loss of pets can become more prevalent as mother coyotes attempt to teach their young how to hunt.”

Because of this, Animal Control has increased its effort to “haze” coyotes within City limits.
Coyote image captured with a remote wildlife camera (Photo courtesy National Park Service)

“The term ‘haze’ consists of using air horns, water guns, tennis ball sticks, or simply walking towards coyotes in an attempt to instill fear of humans,” City officials said. “Ultimately, our goal is to reduce the prevalence of coyotes in the community.”

Coyotes roaming the streets of Santa Monica and other cities in Los Angeles County has been an issue for several years.

Just six years ago there were 14 sightings in one summer and two pet deaths were blamed on coyotes (“Urban Coyotes on the Prowl in Santa Monica,” October 19, 2011).

But the number could possibly be down.

Santa Monica Police reported that there were no sightings two years ago as of late summer (“Coyotes No Shows So Far this Summer in Santa Monica, Police Report,” August 5, 2015).

City officials say coyotes are capable of creating homes in some unexpected places such as under houses and house decks, in unoccupied backyards, in golf courses and in parks.

The City advises doing the following to prevent what it calls the “coyote invasion”:

* Keep domestic cats and small pets indoors,

* Remove or cut down overgrown shrubberies to prevents coyotes from establishing a den,

* Don’t leave pet food outside, and

* Cover trash containers with a lid

If you are in the unfortunate position of encountering a coyote, the City recommends you do not approach or feed it (or any other wild animal).

Instead, make loud noises such as whistling, using an air horn, yelling and even spraying water.


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