Coyote Fact Sheet

As our City continues to grow with people moving from the suburbs to our open spaces, the complaints regarding coyotes will increase. Coyote attacks on people are extremely rare. There have been a small number of attacks on people in the U.S. and Canada, with most of the attacks involving small children less than 5 years of age.

Here are some overall statistics:

  • California Department of Fish and Game estimates that roughly one person gets bitten by a coyote per year in California. The last human to be killed by a coyote was a child in the Los Angeles area around 1980.
  • For comparison, over 300 people have been killed by domestic dogs in the U.S. between 1979 and the late 1990s. (Humane Society of the U.S.). This means that your family dog or your neighbor's dog is a hundred times more likely to kill someone than a coyote.

Coyotes have a huge fear of humans. Usually coyote attacks on people occur when a coyote has become comfortable around people, often as a result of people feeding them. When fed by people, coyotes can become unnaturally bold and the result is conflict between coyotes and people. Some communities have ordinances that ban feeding of coyotes or other wildlife.

Good practices to follow for those living in areas with coyotes:

  • Don’t leave pet food or garbage where they can get to it.
  • Feed pets indoors or promptly remove outdoor dishes when pets finish their meals and store bags of pet food indoors.
  • Use trash cans with lids that clamp shut, which will prevent spilling if the cans are tipped over. If you leave garbage outside, don't use trash bags as garbage containers" coyotes can easily rip them open and scatter the contents.
  • Put trash containers out the morning of the scheduled pick-up, rather than the night before. This will give the coyote less time to scavenge.
  • Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings to reduce protective cover for coyotes and make the area less attractive to rodents. Coyotes and other predators may be attracted to areas where rodents are concentrated, such as wood and brush piles.
  • Keep small pets, such as cats, rabbits and small dogs, indoors. Don't allow them to run free at any time. They are easy, favored prey. Some coyotes seek cats in residential areas. Large dogs should be brought inside after dark, and never be allowed to run loose.
  • If coyotes begin frequenting your neighborhood, let them know they're not welcome. Make loud noises, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose. For everyone's safety, it is essential that coyotes retain their natural wariness of humans.

If you need additional Information or have further questions, please contact our Animal Control Department at (760) 955-5089.

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