Coyotes have been spotted near Royal Oaks and Las Lomas. Although not uncommon to the area, coyote populations have been ever increasing throughout the years. The breeding season runs from Late December through March and pups are born in early spring. Beginning in fall, coyote pups will begin to leave their dens in search for food and start their own packs. Even though it’s not quite fall, reports of coyotes feeding on wildlife and small pets have begun. The Public Safety Department would like to provide its residents with the following wildlife safety tips:
● Do not leave small children and or small pets unattended outdoors.
● Should you have to maintain your pet outdoors and you have the room to do so, consider the placement of an enclosed dog or cat run adequate in size to allow your pet exercise. The run should contain a 6 sided shelter and potable water and have some shade to protect your pet from direct sunlight.
● Do not encourage, entice, approach or feed mammalian wildlife such as coyotes or bears. It is a violation of the law. Please report people who feed wild animals by calling the Public Safety Department at (626) 357-7938.
● Please remove your pet's food dish or bowl when your pet has finished eating and do not leave any unattended food outdoors.
● Pick up all fallen fruit & berries from your yard, if possible, do not leave ripened fruit on branches. For assistance in removing ripened fruit, contact Duarte’s Local Harvest at (626) 359-5671, ext. 316, to schedule a harvest time and date.
● Enclose or remove wood piles.
● Do not compost human food items.
● Enclose vegetable gardens with sturdy welded wire mesh or greenhouse. Clear dense vegetation to reduce wildlife hiding places.
● Secure crawl spaces such as access ways under the house, decks, and porches by screening off with high gauge welded wire mesh where possible. Do not use chicken wire as most wildlife can chew right through it.
● Block access under storage sheds and containers.
● Clean all grills or barbecues after use.
● Secure or store trash containers in enclosed structures or securely strap down the lids. Do not place refuse containers out until the day of service. Spray ammonia occasionally in the trash to cut down on food odors. Canned goods, water bottles, soda cans, soaps, cosmetics, toiletries, trash, and unwashed items that were used for preparing or eating meals can become food. Bears and coyotes are opportunistic predators and eat fruit, vegetables, and refuse.
● Keep your property well lit at night and use motion lights when possible to help alert you to activity outdoors. Placing an electronic motion activated device such as a motion alarm with strobe or motion activated sprinkler may help to discourage wildlife from your property (use caution for outdoor electronics near water sources and be aware of your surroundings).
● Make sure that your fence is secure. Check for gaps and openings that even a cat can fit through. Coyotes and bears have been known to scale chain-link, so consider options to discourage climbing. Wrought iron bars should be no further apart than 4" inches in width to avoid wildlife squeezing between or even your pet from exiting. You may also consider wrought-iron mesh to cover half way up the fence height, as well.
● Carry a walking stick or large colorful umbrella when out on walks so that you can use it to fend off an animal. An open umbrella, for example, presents you as being much larger than the animal and may frighten it away.
● A whistle, air horn, or thrown golf ball may be used to frighten off a wild animal. Wear a waist pack and keep some of these items in it.
● For coyotes observed at your property, make a wildlife scare kit and keep it by the door to your yard: Include items such as air horns, whistles, 2 small pans to bang together, a bullhorn to yell at the coyote, baseballs and golf balls to throw, a camera with flash as the flash may scare the coyote, and/or a fire extinguisher which may be used to scare off an animal.
● Coyotes with young are usually observed from March through September and may hold their ground, so keep your distance when applying any scare tactics.