A recent increase in coyote sightings, including an attack on a pet dog in South Palm Springs, has lead to some advice from city officials: Your best defense is always a great offense.
During the most recent attack, in Canyon Vista Estates last week, a small dog out for his daily morning walk with his owner had a piece of ear bitten off when two young coyotes emerged from nearby trees and attacked. Fortunately the dog was on a leash and his owner was able to pull him away from the predators.
The city’s location near several wilderness areas contributes to the issue. It’s not uncommon here to see coyotes and other predators in neighborhoods. It’s also not uncommon for encounters to end up deadly. In the case of coyotes, although they are naturally fearful of humans, food and water in neighborhoods simply proves too attractive.
“As the City has many location to visit and see the splendor of nature, nature too visits us,” animal control officials said. “Even though the sight of a raccoon or the coyote crossing your path can be held in wonder, it too can be dangerous, not only for you but for your pet.”
What should you do if you spot a coyote? First off, officials said, do not run. Instead, make as much noise as possible, throw something at the animal, yell, wave your arms, or use a whistle if you carry one.
“Your best defense is always a great offense,” they said, adding that you should also “know what animals are in your area, when they forage for food, where they might nest or seek cover.”
It’s also important not to encourage the wildlife to feed in neighborhoods. Simple tips to prevent that include:
- Never leaving pet food out at night
- Securing your trash cans
- Never leaving small pets or even children unattended in areas travels by wildlife
For more information or to request that an animal control officer attend a neighborhood meeting, contact Animal Control at 760-323-8151.