Due to a total of 66 coyote sightings reported in Long Beach in the first four months of 2016, the city is encouraging residents to follow a number of safety precautions to protect pets and property from wild animals.
In a release issued Monday, the city noted that coyotes are found in every state of the nation, excluding Hawaii. Coyote sightings on busy streets are not rare, either. In fact, some of the reported sightings occurred on such thoroughfares as Cherry Avenue, Long Beach Boulevard and 2nd Street, according to Animal Care Services (ACS).
“Coyotes do not require open space to survive, and have successfully adapted to living in close proximity to humans,” wrote the release. “Coyotes are most active at dusk and dawn, and in urban environments they are more active at night. However, they can be seen at any time of day.”
The city recommended the following techniques for residents to protect themselves and their pets, while co-existing with coyotes:
- Never feed coyotes or any other wildlife.
- Keep pets, especially cats and small dogs, and pet food inside. If feeding outside, feed pets during the day (no more than one hour) and remove the food bowls when finished.
- Stay close to pets when taking them outdoors, and always keep them on a leash, especially from dusk through early morning hours.
- Remove fallen fruit from the ground.
- Food waste, such as meat scraps or leftover pet food, should be bagged.
- Keep trash in containers with tight-fitting lids.
- Use “hazing” techniques to shoo away coyotes, such as standing tall, yelling and waving arms while approaching the coyote; using a whistle, air horn, bell or other device; banging pots or pans together; stomping your feet; using a water hose or pepper spray; or throwing tennis balls or rocks toward the coyote.
- Never run from a coyote.
ACS officers respond to coyotes if they are sick or injured, out in daytime areas (and around people in parks and schools), or if there is any kind of physical threat toward humans, according to the release. Of Long Beach’s 66 reported sightings, at least 16 were related to actual or suspected coyote attacks.
For more information about coyotes, including the Coyote Management Plan, or to report coyote sightings, visit www.longbeach.gov/acs/wildlife. If a coyote is posing an imminent threat to life, call 911.
This report was updated on 05/04/16 at 1:50PM with updated statistics regarding coyote attacks.