Having issues with coyotes in your neighborhood?
Despite that fact that humans live in coyote habitat, it seems some forget
To remind people, The Humane Society of the United States recently held a series of educational seminars in Los Angeles and Orange counties to explain successful techniques to humanely prevent and solve conflicts with coyotes.
The seminars featured tips for protecting pets from coyotes, reducing coyote attractants in neighborhoods and "hazing" bold coyotes.
Lynsey White Dasher, an urban wildlife specialist with the Humane Society of the United States, was one of the seminar speakers. Dasher has been educating residents and animal control agencies in the region about humane alternatives for dealing with coyotes.
Coyotes prey on small animals, mostly rodents. But domesticated animals, like cats, dogs, chickens and rabbits, are easy pickings for coyotes.
Dasher offered obvious tips to protect pets, including: Never leave pet food outside; keep pets supervised when they’re outdoors (outdoor cats and small dogs left unattended are coyote food); when walking your dog, make sure the leash is no longer than 6 feet so the coyote can tell the pet is with you and not walking by itself; never feed coyotes; keep lids on trash cans; don’t let pets or children play with coyotes.
As for coyote attacks on humans, they are rare: Last year, there were just 12 coyote bites in America, Dasher said.
“You’re more likely to be killed by a champagne cork or a golf ball than you are to be bitten by a coyote,” she explained.
One reasons for these attacks, however, is that the coyotes have become habituated -- they have lost their fear of humans, according to Dasher.
“The good news is we can reteach them to be afraid of people,” she said, noting that hazing is very effective. “Coyote hazing changes coyote behavior. The important thing is to always do this when you see a coyote that’s not afraid of you.”
Coyote hazing involves the systematic use of deterrents including noisemakers, projectiles and water hoses.
Dasher said people must make sure to continue the hazing and not give up even if it doesn’t work after a few moments.
The coyote’s high intelligence makes hazing effective, Dasher said. After only a few hazing incidents, most coyotes learn to stay away from humans.
For more information about dealing with coyotes, visit www.hsus.org/coyotes.