There have been recently reported coyote sightings in and around the city. As communities grow and expand into previously undeveloped areas, wild animals (coyotes, raccoons, etc.) are losing much of their natural habitat. As a result, they are becoming more acclimated to urban and suburban surroundings and can navigate access into residential areas and backyards. Wild animals can easily hurt, maim or even kill household pets that do not have the survival skills or temperament to defend themselves. By nature, coyotes are fearful of humans and tend to follow travel paths along railroad tracks, riverbeds, and open fields.
The City of Norwalk works with the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA) and the California Department of Fish & Wildlife to address coyote related issues. SEAACA responds to incidents that involve coyotes that have attacked animals and/or humans; or are injured, deceased, or are seen near a school/park when children are present. Please be advised that neither SEAACA, nor Fish and Wildlife trap and relocate coyotes.
SEAACA provides the following guidelines to keep domestic pets safe from wild animals.
- Do not leave food outside. Wild animals can be expert foragers. If you leave food outside (leftovers, pet food or anything else), it can be a magnet for wild creatures which can create an unsafe encounter with your pet.
- Do not let your pet roam outdoors. Monitor your pet when they are outside and bring them in especially when it gets dark.
- Get your pet vaccinated. Wild animals can transmit rabies, fleas, and other diseases. Ensure your pet is vaccinated and is up to date on flea/tick preventative measures.
- Protect your home. Make sure wild animals cannot get into your home through open doors or windows. Many wild animals roam at nighttime, when you and your pets are sleeping. Lock and secure your doors and windows before you go to bed. Also, frequently check your fence line for any damage or holes making it easier for critters to enter your yard.
- Clear your surroundings. Excessive debris, vegetation, fallen trees and hillside brush and shrubs can be enticing hiding places for wild animals.Clear the areas around your home to avoid unwelcomed surprises for you and your pets.
- Keep your pets on a leash. When hiking or walking with pets, make sure to keep your pet on leashes that are at most six feet in length. Longer leashes, or no leashes at all, can allow your pet to explore hidden areas and possibly uncover wild animals.
Below are useful tips for what to do if you encounter a coyote.
- Yell and make eye contact. Never turn away from a coyote.
- Use items to make a lot of noise to scare the coyote away.
- Throw nearby pebbles or pine cones in the general direction of the coyote, but do not hurt it.
- Try to look as big, tall, and intimidating as possible.
SEAACA encourages pet owners to do their part to protect their pets since wildlife is living amongst us. For more information, you can contact SEAACA at 562-803-3301 or the Department of Public Safety at 562-929-5732.
For more information regarding coyotes you can visit:
California Department of Fish & Wildlife: "Keep Me Wild"
YouTube: "How to Haze a Coyote"