Coyotes are a native species of wild dog which has been pushed out of its natural habitat and now must forage and kill for food in our developed cities. Usually preying on dogs and cats between 10-20lbs, the coyotes are particularly aggressive during mating season– which just began. During their fight for territory, coyotes are much more aggressive than normal, so please take steps to ensure your pets are safe, as coyotes have a long and documented history of jumping fences as high as 8 feet tall to get to their prey. Coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, but can be observed at all hours of the day and will not pass up the opportunity to attack.
In Huntington, tallies of coyotes which have been put down are regularly touted in the media, and that city is taking a territorial approach to their land, destroying every coyote it can find. In Newport, our city council has taken the opposite approach: coexistence. The theory is that if we destroy native coyotes, then other coyotes will fill in the void and may be even more aggressive than the ones who have been living amongst us for so many years. The science is still being developed on how to deal with coyotes on a long-term basis, but if you do encounter one, take the following steps:
1) Stand tall
2) Wave your arms above your head
3) Make lots of noise (yelling, whistles, bells, or “shaker” cans filled with rocks)
4) Throw items at the coyote such as rocks or balls
5) Spray the coyote with water (or more effectively, vinegar-water, if you have a spray bottle or squirt gun loaded)
You can also report the sighting to Newport Beach animal control, here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSftXH6feq0C5xpQwIOlFoVGcxjL5BHVy0RVQ0IqSg6gPxmI8g/viewform
Keep your pets safe and be careful!