In the past couple of days, the Buzz has heard several new reports about coyotes in our neighborhoods, which are worth mentioning.
First, on Saturday, October 31, neighbors reported that a coyote walked up a few stairs to a front porch on the 700 block of S. Mansfield (west side of the street), picked up a small sleeping dog, and started to carry it off. Another neighbor witnessed the incident and started screaming, which caused the coyote to drop the dog and leave. The dog was later taken to a vet, treated for puncture wounds, and is expected to make a full recovery.
Second, there have been several recent reports of “packs” of three or four coyotes roaming the area, seen by various neighbors at 2nd and Norton, 9th and Hudson, and 12th and Citrus. Although it is startling to see groups of coyotes on the street, an informational video provided by Coyote Coexistence, notes that coyote “packs” are actually family units, consisting of parents and children, not social groups like dog packs. Los Angeles Department of Animal Services Officer Hoang Dinh, as quoted by the Windsor Square Association, further explains that:
“This is the time of year where all the wild babies born in spring are now juveniles and learning the terrain. It may seem like more, but it is temporary (67% mortality rate for coyotes naturally) unless there is enough food to sustain them. The most important thing to realize is this is also a very impressionable state, which we “Humans” should take advantage and haze without harming them. If the juveniles want to learn, teach them that your residential area is no place for them. Do not provide any source of food, such as access to garbage, uneaten fruits, pet food left outside and unfortunately even small pets left unattended, clutter and dense brush (the latter 2 harbors rodents). Make sure if you all have holiday guests, to advise them to do the same. This is also a very good time to walk your pets with other people. Have at least one person carry a good size stick, to even throw towards the coyotes.
Let’s give them little reason to hang around and remind them to stay naturally afraid of us.”
So it seems this is indeed the season for family (pack) sightings…but we may also be able to help “train” the pups to be afraid of us and keep their distance. This, combined with a reminder that small pets should be attended by their humans at ALL times when they are outdoors in our neighborhoods, can help to ensure everyone’s safety.