As the mating season for coyotes approaches, sightings of these wild animals have increased in Cerritos and Artesia over the past couple of weeks, and according to some residents, it’s concerning but not uncommon to see these creatures roaming through their neighborhoods.
These urban coyotes, as they are commonly referred, have adapted to living in urban areas, according to animal control officials.
Chief of Operations David Linn at the Long Beach Animal Control, which services the city of Cerritos, said there have already been five reported sightings of coyotes in Cerritos for the month of December.
“It’s normal to see coyotes around here,” said Cerritos resident Mina Yun. “The last coyote I saw was at (in Cerritos) on my way to a friend’s house.”
According to Yun she’s spotted coyotes around her neighborhood and in the city about once a month over the past six months.
So Who Do You Call If You See A Coyote?
Residents should report sightings to their local animal control no matter the time of day. In Cerritos that would be the Long Beach Animal Control and in Artesia the residents should contact the Los Angeles County Animal Control located in Downey. (See phone numbers for these agencies listed below.) Documented sightings help animal control agencies focus on areas with the most activity.
What Should You Do If You Come Face to Face With A Coyote?
“Make lots of noise, wave your arms, and make yourself bigger than you are,” said Linn. “Coyotes will stalk a small pet if you are walking with one, making loud noises will usually spook them.”
According to Linn, coyotes don’t usually attack humans and that in his 17 years of experience he has never come across the situation, but residents should remember that they are wild animals. They should not try to feed, capture, or encourage any type of wildlife. Residents should contact their local animal control immediately after any type of incident with a coyote.
The experts stress that: prevention is the key.
Here are a few more quick tips when it comes to dealing with urban coyotes:
- Take extra precautions when walking with or without a pet after dark or at dawn.
- Keep property clear of food sources that may attrack coyotes. (pet food, fruit from trees, and trash cans left open).
- Keep small pets inside at night if possible, and keep pets up to date with vaccinations in case of contact with a coyote.
- If you come across a coyote, shout in a deep voice, waive your arms and throw objects at the animal.
- Look the coyote directly in the eyes.
- Stand up if you are seated.
- If you are wearing a coat or vest, spread it open like a cape so that you appear larger.
- Retreat from the situation by walking slowly backward so that you do not turn your back on the coyote.
- Contact local animal control after any sighting or incident.
Residents should note that the coyote mating season spans from January to February with the females having their pups in April and May, so the population of urban coyotes is expected to increase in the next few months. Living with coyotes has been a challenge for many communities in Southern California and all across the U.S. Even with all the efforts by animal control agenices, only a couple of coyotes are captured every year.
Local Animal Control Contact Information:
Cerritos: http://www.longbeach.gov/acs/ - Phone: (562) 570-7387
Artesia: http://animalcare.lacounty.gov/locationbycity.asp - Phone: (562) 940-6898