As coyote numbers increase in cities, they become accustomed to the presence of people, especially if the people do not harass them. Studies of coyote attacks have revealed a predictable pattern of change in coyote behavior in these environments. This progression is accelerated when coyotes are provided abundant food, either unintentionally or intentionally; in residential areas.
Control Measures to Deter Coyotes and Avoid Conflicts
Coyotes visit at nighttime and during the day. Please be very cautious when leaving animals and small children unattended outdoors. Coyotes can jump up to 14 feet and wrought iron or chain link fence does not deter them.
Use Negative Reinforcement Each Time You See A Coyote
Residents who see a coyote in their neighborhood should stay calm and attempt to frighten it away by hazing:
The coyote may not leave at first, but if you approach them closer and/or increase the intensity of your hazing, they will run away.
If the coyote runs away a short distance and then stops and looks at you, continue hazing until he leaves the area entirely.
After you have successfully hazed a coyote, they may return. Continue to haze the coyote as you did before; it usually takes only one or two times to haze a coyote away for good.
If you see a coyote in your neighborhood look for coyote attractants and reach out to your neighborhoods to ensure control measures are in place.
Take Special Pet Precautions
Cats and small animals (20 pounds or less) should not be allowed outside alone, even in a fenced yard. (A dog or cat can be taken from a backyard enclosed by a six-foot high fence or wall in a matter of moments.) Always accompany small pets when outside. Don't allow your dog off leash. Coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, but can be observed at all hours of the day and will not pass up the opportunity to attack.
City of Downey Coyote Management Plan
In response to coyote sightings in Downey, the City Council, at it's June 13, 2017 meeting, adopted the City of Downey Coyote Management Plan.
Building on the Downey Coyote Management Plan, the City created the Coyotes Out Of Downey (C.O.O.D.) volunteer group. C.O.O.D. assists the City in educating neighborhoods regarding coyote behavior, activity, attractants, and recent coyote sightings. The group also assists with coyote hazing.
If you are interested in joining C.O.O.D., please contact (562) 904-7284.
If you see an aggressive coyote (i.e. ears go back, fur comes up on its back, it snarls, growls, shows teeth, and charges a person) or there is an actual attack on a human, contact the City of Downey Police Department by dialing 9-1-1.
Living with Urban Wildlife - Coyotes City Brochure
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California Department of Fish & Wildlife- Coyotes
Keep Me Wild Brochure
Humane Society of the United States- Coyotes
Coyote Information - UC Agriculture and National Resources
Coyotes, pets, and Community Cats
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