Anyone who lives in Orange County is likely to have encountered a coyote at least a time or two. While most associate coyote spottings with spending time in the wilderness, the reality is that they can also make their way into residential areas. This is particularly true as the weather warms and coyote pups begin to grow and venture into suburban neighborhoods in search of food and water. Unfortunately, this sometimes involves damaging homes and even killing pets as the coyotes attack them for food. To help prevent these types of things from happening, the Newport Beach Police Department has been sharing information with residents regarding the influx of coyotes in residential neighborhoods.
How You Can Help
To help with addressing the coyote issue that some areas are facing, the Newport Beach Police Department is asking residents to report coyote sightings whenever possible. They are also asking residents to help them identify if the coyote’s behavior appeared to be “green” (non-threatening) or “red” (dangerous).
Residents are also being encouraged to learn the art of “coyote hazing,” which involves acting as a pack to discourage coyotes by creating loud noises, creating big motions and engaging in other non-threatening behavior. By reporting the coyotes and participating in the hazing process, residents can help to discourage coyotes from interacting with and spending time around humans.
Protecting Pets and Children from Coyotes
Coyotes pose a significant threat to pets and even to small children. To prevent harm to your pets and children, be sure to keep your area fenced off. Small animals should also be brought indoors and not kept off leash. Furthermore, pets and children should never be allowed to play with coyotes. Some specific guidelines outlined by the Newport Beach Police Department and Animal Control include:
• Never allow cats and small animals to go outside alone, even in a fenced yard. Dogs and cats have been known to be taken from a backyard enclosed by fences as high as six feet.
• Always accompany small pets when going outside.
• Don’t allow your dog to roam off of its leash.
• Remember that coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, but they will not pass up an opportunity to attack at any time of the day.
• You can further reduce the chances of attack by feeding your pets indoors, storing trash in covered heavy-duty containers, keeping your yard free from potential coyote shelters (such as thick brush and weeds), enclosing the bottoms of your porches and decks and eliminating potential food and water sources (such as fallen fruit and standing water). You should also never purposely feed coyotes. Not only will this only serve to exacerbate your problem because coyotes who are fed by humans lose their fear of people, but providing food for wild animals is a violation of both City and State law.
By taking these steps and reporting concerns to the Newport Beach Police Department and Animal Control, you can significantly reduce the chances of dealing with problems related to coyotes. Not only will this help to keep you, your family and your pets safe, but it will also allow the coyotes to live in peace in the wilderness where they belong.