Police in Newport Beach are warning residents to take extra precautions to keep pets from becoming coyote prey.
According to Newport Beach police, several residents have lost their pets from coyote attacks. In August a pit bull in Orange County fell victim to a coyote attack while playing ball in the yard and ended up with scratches and other minor injuries. While there have been no recent incidents in Newport Beach, police says its imperative residents know coyotes are roaming in all areas of the county.
"This is really just a general warning, no specific incidents prompted it," Kathy Lowe, Newport Beach police spokeswoman, said. "We are more trying to educate the community."
Coyotes are comfortable living alongside people and are often seen walking through neighborhoods and near joggers and bikers. Although coyotes are not normally a danger to people, coyotes will get defensive if they feel threatened or cornered.
- Cats and small animals should not be allowed outside alone, even in a fenced yard.
- Though coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, they can be observed at all hours of the day and will not pass up the opportunity for an easy meal.
- Remember a dog or cat can be taken from a backyard enclosed by a six-foot high fence or wall in a matter or moments.
- Fence off animal enclosures (fully enclosed if possible).
- Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult.
- Feed pets indoors.
- Store trash in covered heavy-duty containers.
- Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush and weeds.
- Enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.
- Eliminate potential food and water sources, such as fallen fruit and standing water.
- If coyotes begin frequenting your neighborhood, let them know they’re not welcome by making loud noises, throwing rocks or spraying them with garden hoses.
- Keep a safe distance from any coyotes you may encounter.
- Teach your children to stay away from strange animals and never feed coyotes.
If you encounter a coyote in Newport Beach, call 949-644-3717.