Coyotes and Wildlife Safety Precautions
In California, people have become accustomed to drought conditions and water restrictions, but how does the wildlife survive in drought conditions? Wildlife depends on water just as citizens do. The unusually dry weather in the region, along with construction activities in town, is causing wildlife to leave their typical habitats and go in search of food and water in the more populated areas. This should be expected and prepared for with open wilderness areas bordering the community.
The first precaution to take around your home is to clear the brush and dense weeds from around your property. This will reduce the likelihood of rodent or snake invasions. Tightly screen all access holes into your home from ground to bar roof to bar rats, squirrels, and birds.
Be sure not to allow pets to roam from your home and bring in cats and dogs at night whenever possible. Pet food left outside is like a buffet for wildlife. Once animals become accustomed to your pet’s feeding routine, they will begin to depend on it. Animals will be attracted by the smell of food in your garbage too. Keep garbage containers tightly lidded and secure against tipping by large animals. Drain any outdoor sources of water each night including bird baths or pet water bowls.
Carry a whistle with you when you take your pets out for a walk. If you see a coyote, blow the whistle. The noise will scare them and push them back into wildlife areas.
If you encounter an animal that is posing a threat to people or pets, please report the incident immediately to the Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA at 909-623-9777 (8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) or 909-594-9858 (after hours). If you are reporting an encounter and the situation requires emergency medical attention, dial 911. If you have seen any wildlife, especially in groups or in families, and want it documented, please call the Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA during regular business hours.
The California Department of Fish and Game offer the following information regarding Coyotes. More information can be found at https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Keep-Me-Wild/Coyote.
Coyotes play an important role in the ecosystem, helping to keep rodent populations under control. They are by nature fearful of humans. If coyotes are given access to human food and garbage, their behavior changes. They lose caution and fear. They may cause property damage. They might threaten human safety. Relocating a problem coyote is not an option because it only moves the problem to someone else’s neighborhood. Help prevent deadly conflicts for these beautiful wild animals.
"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 Game 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.
- Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
- Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, etc.
- Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
- Ask your neighbors to follow these tips.
News Release Provided By: Jeannette Vagnozzi, City of La Verne