Coyote Safety

coyote
Many residents have expressed concerns about recent coyote sightings around Temple City.  Coyote sightings in urban areas are normal, but there are steps you can take to reduce your interaction with coyotes and to protect yourself, your family, and your pets.
 
Coyotes are found all over the San Gabriel Valley and Los Angeles County.  Contrary to popular belief, coyotes do not require open space or "wild" areas to survive.  Urban areas are appealing to coyotes because they provide a constant source of food and water.  Wildfires, years of drought, and continued development in the nearby foothills have also contributed to an increase in coyotes in urban areas.

Coyotes in urban areas are accustomed to human activity and have little fear of humans.  They can often be seen trotting along streets and sidewalks in proximity to cars, bicyclists, and pedestrians.  While not normally a danger to humans, coyotes will display defensive behavior if they feel threatened.   Further, coyotes pose a threat to cats and small dogs, which can become prey if left alone outside, even in a fenced yard.

How can I reduce the likelihood of a coyote coming to my neighborhood or approaching me?

  • Keep cats and small dogs inside, especially at dawn and dusk when coyotes are most active.  If left outside, keep cats and small dogs in a completely enclosed run.  Most coyotes can easily climb over back yard fences and walls.
  • When walking your pet, always keep them on a leash.  Leashes should be no longer than 6 feet so that your pet stays close to you.
  • Make sure that your back yard is well lit.  Turn on lights before going outside or letting your pets out at night to check the yard for coyotes or other wildlife.
  • Never offer food to coyotes.  Remove outdoor food sources such as pet food bowls, unsecured trash cans, fallen fruit, unsecured compost bins, and dirty barbeque grills.
  • Never offer water to coyotes.  Remove outdoor water sources such as pet water bowls, bird baths, and watering cans.
  • Coyotes often follow routines and will revisit the same location.  Make a note of where you have seen a coyote and avoid that area if possible.

What should I do if I see a coyote?

  • Do not walk toward the coyote.  Try to increase the distance between you and the coyote, but do not run and do not turn your back on the coyote.
  • If the coyote comes toward you, do not run away.  Make loud noises such as clapping, yelling, and banging on objects to try to scare the coyote away.  Make yourself appear as big and scary as possible such as by waving your arms.
  • Do not allow the coyote to get between you and your child or pet.  Keep children close to you and pick up small children and pets.
  • Do not call animal control to have the coyote captured.  Like raccoons and opossums, coyotes are wild animals and animal control will generally not attempt to capture or relocate them.