JOSHUA TREE RESIDENTS REPORT MORE AGGRESSIVE COYOTE BEHAVIOR

Spring weather can bring increased wildlife activity, especially coyotes. A Joshua Tree woman says her past interactions with coyotes in her neighborhood caused her to change her ways.

MAUREEN MORRIS:

(Dogs barking) – Come in, quick…”

ROBERT HAYDON:

Maureen Morris is 75 and lives with her two dogs in the upper Friendly Hills of Joshua Tree. His house is adjacent to an open desert with lavas that extend to the hills bordering the national park. So she’s used to seeing all kinds of wildlife over the 21 years she’s lived here. Whenever she saw coyotes on her walks, a clap of the hand or a shout was usually enough to get them moving.

But the last few times she encountered coyotes on her nighttime walks, they seemed less frightened of her and didn’t disperse as easily. She walks a regular route on the dirt roads that surround her property near Onaga and Vista – and a group of three coyotes approached Ms Morris – with one continuing to walk despite her deterrents improved.

MAUREEN MORRIS:

“When I saw them…I got a really loud whistle (and) went the siren. He kept moving forward (even though) I waved and shouted.

ROBERT: But it didn’t work, and this coyote ended up following her at a distance she estimates to be as close as 50 feet.

MAUREEN MORRIS:

“Only one was advancing and I had to turn around because I was still facing them. I had to turn around to go up the hill to QUICKLY get home. And those two dogs just as you walked in were hysterical”

ROBERT HAYDON:

Although Maureen’s two dogs are both smaller, she says she’s aware they can attract coyotes, so they’re always on a leash or in a stroller (although) it’s never been a problem in recent years. Although spring is a more active season for wildlife, coyotes tend to hunt more in the morning and evening; this is the first time she has ever approached or followed her.

Ms Morris contacted Fish and Wildlife and reported the increased activity, who said they would send a Park Ranger to investigate the area. Meanwhile, these latest encounters with neighborhood coyotes have changed her walking habits for the first time since moving here.

VO MAUREEN MORRIS:

“I’m not one to be afraid. I’m careful, I’m aware. You know, you live in the desert. After these three episodes – I’m terrified actually – because I don’t know what to do.

Link: California Department of Fish & Wildlife – Help keep coyotes out of your neighborhood

Link: Z107.7FM – Coyotes are more active in the spring, how to avoid interactions


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