43 coyote sightings reported at Huntington Beach in past 3 months

A team of volunteers formed earlier this year to carry out ‘coyote yard audits’ in response to reports of feral canines in human-inhabited areas of Huntington Beach have been busy giving advice to residents and businesses near the recent sightings, police said Thursday.

In the past three months, 43 coyote sightings have been reported in Huntington Beach, according to city police department spokeswoman Jessica Cuchilla. Some occurred near the intersections of Warner Avenue and Edwards Street as well as Brookhurst Street and Indianapolis Avenue.

Wildlife Watch of Huntington Beach conducted the audits, which were designed to help property owners identify things they might be doing to inadvertently invite coyotes and other wildlife onto their property. Auditors look for things like pet food left outside, ripe fruit that has fallen on the ground, food residue on outdoor grills, and unsecured garbage cans, as coyotes are known to be scavengers with a diet. diversified.

Volunteers also recommend trimming bushes and hedges to eliminate places where wildlife might seek refuge on their property. Pet owners are advised to keep their critters indoors as coyotes are known to prey on small animals.

The team also carried out awareness-raising activities and distributed educational materials at community meetings throughout the city.

Huntington Beach’s Wildlife Watch volunteers examine an unsecured trash can potentially containing food that could attract coyotes and other wildlife in a photo shared by the city’s police department on Twitter Thursday, Nov. 3.

(Courtesy of the Huntington Beach Police Department)

Huntington Beach Wildlife Watch is an extension of a program established by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to prevent conflict in the face of increasingly frequent human-wildlife interactions. It consists of five volunteers and was set up in July based on input from state agency officials and residents who attended a town hall earlier this year about a growing number of coyote sightings. In the region.

This encounter took place on May 9, nine days after a 2-year-old girl from Chino Hills was bitten by a coyote while visiting Huntington Beach Pier. She suffered facial lacerations and now panics when around dogs, according to lawyers representing her family.

Police responding to reports of the attack shot and killed two coyotes found nearby. DNA tests confirmed that it was the animal that had bitten the child.

No other attacks on humans have been reported in Huntington Beach since then, Cuchilla said. However, at least one pet has been injured or killed by a coyote in the past 90 days.

Huntington Beach is one of many cities that have implemented coyote management plans in response to the growing prevalence of wildlife in urban settings. Some call for the formation of hazing teams to actively seek out and scare away coyotes if they are known to frequent a certain area.

Earlier this month, Fountain Valley officials amended the city’s municipal code to prohibit not just feeding, but all physical contact with wildlife. This change came about 4 months after another 2-year-old girl was bitten by a coyote in Mile Square Park. The animal involved in this attack was euthanized.

Wild animals that have exhibited aggressive behavior towards humans are generally considered too great a threat to keep alive and are culled. Relocation is not an effective solution for coyotes who have become too comfortable in urban settings but are otherwise docile. They are able to travel great distances and usually find their way back to their preferred habitat.

According to Fish and Wildlife officials, the most humane and effective way to keep coyotes away is to prevent them from wanting to enter your property and to get used to being around humans.

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