ANAHEIM, Calif. (April 19, 2017) — Encounters with coyotes are on the rise in some parts of Anaheim, and the city is hearing from residents and experts as part of an effort to create a wildlife management plan.
On April 18, we held a community meeting with representatives of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, OC Animal Care and residents.
Here’s some of what we heard:
Coyotes are an issue throughout California. They are drawn to cities for easy sources of food, including trash cans and outdoor pet food, which draws smaller animals that coyotes feed on.
Managing coyotes requires a comprehensive approach to deter interactions with coyotes. Many cities and neighborhoods have adopted Wildlife Watch programs, similar to Neighborhood Watch programs, with community involvement alongside animal control, police and other agencies.
Coyotes can be trapped by OC Animal Care, Fish and Wildlife, licensed trappers and police. Trapping by residents is strongly discouraged because of safety and liability reasons. Trapping by authorities is a last option as it is a short-term tactic to a long-term problem. Any coyotes trapped one season are replaced by others the next. Any coyotes trapped are euthanized under state law. Relocation is not permitted to prevent the transfer of disease and territorial fights with other coyotes.
Don’t feed coyotes or other wildlife (with some exceptions for feral cats). Feeding wildlife can be a violation of the city’s municipal code and result in fines. Even worse, feeding coyotes leads the animals to associate people with food and lose all fear of humans.
If you encounter a coyote, stand tall, wave your arms and yell. This is what wildlife experts call hazing. If necessary, throw a rock near — not at — the animal. If the coyote doesn’t leave, slowly walk away backward maintaining eye contact.
Use a leash that provides good control of your dog — don’t use retractable leashes. When possible, walk your dog with another person. Consider carrying a stick, umbrella or other defensive item. Experts don’t recommend Mace or other self-defense sprays as they can blow back on you. Should you encounter a coyote, pick up your dog if possible or place them behind you. Then stand tall, yell or throw something near the coyote. Don't run — you'll trigger the coyote's predator instinct.
We also heard from residents about coyote incidents in their neighborhoods, particularly in central and west Anaheim. Many are sharing their experiences on Nextdoor, which is a good way to keep informed.
You can find other basic tips from OC Animal Care, which serves the city of Anaheim, by clicking here.
The city of Anaheim will continue to look at what other cities have done and hear from residents and experts with a goal of presenting informed recommendations to the city council that could lead to a comprehensive wildlife management plan.
For more on the city of Anaheim, visit Anaheim.net.