Many residents have expressed concerns about recent coyote sightings in and around Temple City. Coyotes are found all over the San Gabriel Valley and Southern California. Contrary to popular belief, coyotes do not only live in the foothills or other "wild" areas. Urban areas are appealing to coyotes because they provide ample sources of food and water.
Coyotes in urban areas are accustomed to human activity and often have little fear of humans. While not normally a danger to adults, coyotes will display defensive behavior if they feel threatened. Further, coyotes can pose a threat to cats, small dogs, and small children. There are steps you can take to reduce your interaction with coyotes and to protect yourself, your family, and your pets.
How can I reduce the likelihood of a coyote interaction?
- Keep cats and small dogs inside, especially from dusk to dawn when coyotes are most active. If left outside, keep cats and small dogs in a completely enclosed and covered run. Most coyotes can easily climb over back yard fences and walls.
- When walking your pet, always keep them on a leash held by a capable person. 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 and other wildlife.
- Never make food available to coyotes. Remove outdoor food sources such as pet food bowls, unsecured trash cans, fallen fruit, unsecured compost bins, and dirty barbecue grills. Never feed feral cats, since the food itself and the cats it attracts will both attract coyotes.
- Never make water available to coyotes. Remove outdoor water sources such as pet water bowls, bird baths, and watering cans.
- Keep vegetation well maintained. Thin out or remove dense bushes and hedges that may provide shade and cover for coyotes.
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. Never approach a sick or injured coyote.
- If the coyote comes toward you, do not run away. "Haze" the coyote by making 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. If the coyote does not retreat, throw small objects at the coyote such as sticks, rocks, or balls, or spray the coyote with a hose. Do not stop the hazing activity until the coyote has left the area.
- 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.
- Report the coyote sighting on the Coyote Cacher web site. Do not call animal control to have the coyote captured. Unless a human has been attacked, animal control agencies will generally not attempt to capture, relocate, or kill coyotes, as these strategies have proven ineffective at controlling coyote populations. If a coyote attacks or injures a human, call 9-1-1.
Report Coyote Sightings
To better understand coyote behavior and increase public awareness about coyotes, the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources has developed the Coyote Cacher web site. Any member of the public can use Coyote Cacher to report coyote sightings. You can also register to receive email notifications when coyote sightings are reported in your area.