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Patch Blog: Coexisting with Coyotes—Tips from The Animal Commission

The SP Animal Commission offers some helpful tips on how to co-exist with the urban coyote and how to discourage coyote encounters.

The South Pasadena Animal Commission reads with interest the  

In light of ongoing sightings of coyote in South Pasadena, the Animal Commission wishes to offer your readers the following information:

South Pasadena has many areas that are natural habitats for coyotes. However, urban development is encroaching into these habitats making coyotes more visible in many neighborhoods as coyotes search for food, water and shelter both during the day and at night. Coyotes may be seen throughout the year but are more conspicuous and vocal during the January to March mating season and later when adult animals are caring for their pups.

Coyotes often mate for several seasons and they travel in family groups with female offspring often staying with the family to help rear the next litter. Coyotes’ high-pitched howls can be heard from a distance and often this sound makes one or two coyotes sound like a large group. While often this is an unnerving sound to humans, howling is the coyotes’ way of communicating and is not a show of hostility. Barking sounds indicate the animal is protecting its den or offspring.

Coyotes can survive on whatever natural food is available and are undeterred by human control measures. Their natural foods include rats, mice and other small rodents. Therefore, they assist the human community by reducing the number of such unwanted pests.  

 Many residents have promoted an unnatural boldness in coyotes by purposefully or accidentally leaving pet food outside and/or garbage containers uncovered for easy access by coyotes. In South Pasadena it is against the law for people to willfully provide food for coyotes.

In order to discourage coyotes from feeding in our back yards, the South Pasadena Animal Commission offers the following recommendations:

Feed pets indoors or remove feeding dishes from outside areas that are accessible to coyotes. Store pet food indoors or in covered metal containers with lids in closed garages.

Keep small pets indoors or in gated yards with 6 foot or higher fencing. Always bring free-roaming cats inside at night and reduce their time outside of a fenced yard so they do not become unwitting sources of food for coyotes.

Keep small children under supervision in areas frequented by coyotes.

Make loud, sharp noises to scare away coyotes and other unwanted wild animals if you come upon them.

For your information, the South Pasadena Animal Commission (SPAC) was established in 1983 as a result of a report done by a Coyote Committee formed to study the issue of coyotes in our city and to make recommendations to the City Council. The committee recommendations, including education of residents about how to “co-exist” with the urban coyote, prompted the Council and the Mayor to create an Animal Commission for the city. 

The commission provides input to City staff, the City Council, and community on various issues - ranging from preservation of wildlife habitat to hot weather tips for pets. For further information on the Animal Commission, contact SPAC through the City Clerk's office at City Hall.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Steve Garcia July 24, 2012 at 02:31 PM
We saw a large coyote in our neighborhood, which is about 5 blocks (with Orange Grove in the way) from the Arroyo in broad daylight on Sunday. This one stopped in the middle of the street, did his business, and then sauntered away up the sidewalk, aware that we were watching. I wish the coyotes would do something about the raccoons in the neighborhood that keep digging up our plants and leave the pets alone. That would be poetic justice.
michelle Trafficante July 24, 2012 at 03:53 PM
I have never seen or heard so many coyotes as I have this past month or two. I live near the high school and we have always heard distant howling and barking coming from the hills. Recently, however, my neighbor has had a coyote several times in her front yard. I also have seen many more than I have in the past when I walk on Grand, Hermosa and Arroyo. Does anyone know why it seems there are so many more than the usual summer?
Wendy August 25, 2012 at 04:35 AM
As my husband was driving off to work 4:30 am on 8/22 he saw 2 coyotes walking along the sidewalk. We assume they were looking for food bcuz one came out of the neighbors driveway. We live on Westage and the coyotes were walking towards Arroyo. We recently moved here, a year this Dec from Alhambra, so this is new to us.

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