Recent coyote sightings in the city of Sacramento have some residents asking if they should be worried.
Absolutely not, said Jace Huggins, animal control officer with Front Street Shelter.
Coyotes are extremely adaptable and resourceful animals, Huggins said. They have managed to live in almost every type of environment across the country, from rural and forested areas, to the streets of New York.
Residents are likely seeing either young juveniles trying to find an area to call their own while older coyotes tend to their young, or some very desperate coyote parents trying to feed all of their babies. The breeding season for coyotes is early in the year, around January to February, and the pups are born around April, Huggins said.
Although it’s not unusual for coyotes to be seen in urban settings, Front Street Animal Shelter wants residents to know the following:
- Small pet owners should never let their cat or dog wander unattended. Coyotes pose little risk to people, but they will kill small animals such as rabbits, squirrels, and sometimes cats or small dogs for food.
- Keep trash in sealed cans, do not leave any pet food outside, and refrain from feeding animals outside.
- Never attempt to approach, feed, or touch a coyote. They should be left alone; however, if they are placing a small animal at risk or following a person, residents should yell and make themselves appear large by waiving their hands.
- A hose can be a good deterrent, if one is near, as well as motion activated sprinklers and lights are ways that residents can equip their property to be less appealing to coyotes.
- If a coyote is acting aggressively toward a person, please call 911. If it appears to be sick or injured, residents can call the city’s 311 center to have an Animal Control Officer dispatched to the location.