May 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Coyote Encounter Highlights Need for Safety Measures Around Homes

Attack On Pet Puts Spotlight On Need To Take Precautions Outside

By Dolores Quintana

On August 16, 2023, around 6:30 AM, a significant incident unfolded in the 100 block of North Canyon View in Brentwood, raising awareness about coyote-human interactions. Security officers on duty observed a coyote approaching within a mere 20 feet of their location while changing shifts. Shortly after this encounter, the same coyote attacked a small dog being walked on a leash by its owner.

The dog owner’s quick thinking played a pivotal role in averting a potential injury. Upon witnessing the assault on their pet, the dog owner vocally confronted the coyote, but the aggressive animal persisted in its pursuit. Resorting to a self-defense measure, the owner deployed an air horn carried for safety during neighborhood walks, causing the coyote to retreat. The particular coyote bore a unique feature: part of its tail was visibly missing, rendering it recognizable.

The incident has prompted authorities to revisit the existing policy on coyote management. While there is generally a ban on trapping coyotes, exceptions are made for instances where the animals exhibit aggression toward humans, show signs of illness or injury, or have bitten someone, necessitating rabies testing. 

It’s crucial to note that shooting coyotes solely due to their presence is prohibited, as is feeding them. The animals’ agility is evident in their ability to scale or jump fences reaching up to 5 1/2 feet in height. Property owners seeking to deter coyotes can consider increasing fence height to at least 6 feet and adding an outward-facing angled section at the top, measuring 45 degrees and 16 inches wide. Additionally, burying the fence base underground, lined with rocks, and extending an apron further from the fence can help prevent coyote intrusion.

The search for sustenance and water often drives coyotes’ incursions into residential areas during scarcity in their natural habitats. To mitigate these interactions, limiting available food and water sources is recommended. If confronted by a coyote, individuals are advised to wave your arms. Shout in a low, loud tone. Throw objects at the coyote while maintaining eye contact. Make yourself look as big as possible. If you are wearing a jacket, open it up like a cape. If possible, go towards active or populated areas but do not turn your back on the coyote.

The incident in North Canyon View underscores the importance of understanding coyote behavior and taking necessary precautions to ensure the safety of both residents and their pets. The revised policy aims to strike a balance between wildlife management and community safety.

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