Uptick in Coyote Attacks Leaves California Community Concerned

Residents in a Southern California neighborhood told local news outlets that they have seen a string of aggressive coyote behavior toward people and pets in recent weeks.

According to a report by KCLA, the wild animals have been spotted in Mar Vista on the westside of Los Angeles. Residents who spoke with the station said that an increased number of coyotes began appearing in March.

In a home surveillance video obtained by KTLA, a pack of six coyotes was seen walking along the back patio fence of a home in Mar Vista. In another clip, a man and his pet dog were stalked by a coyote while they were on a walk.

Mar Vista resident Jeanelle Arias told KTLA that she and other neighbors are looking for answers after one coyote attempted to approach her 14-year-old dog in her backyard. The wild canine was chased off by Arias’ younger dog before the encounter escalated, according to a video shared with KTLA.

“We’ve reached out to animal services, and everyone seems to point at someone else that is responsible,” said Shelley Beringhele, another Mar Vista resident who spoke with KTLA’s Carlos Saucedo.

Coyote Attacks Spiking Leave California Community onEdge
A coyote is pictured while crossing the street into Sequoia National Park in Southern California. Residents in Mar Vista told local news outlets that a wild coyote population has been stalking neighbors and pets.

Fabio Michele Capelli/Getty Images

“We’ve been really frustrated,” added another neighbor who identified as Fleishman. “There’s really been no action, like no proactive action that … can happen.”

Officials with the Los Angeles County Department of Weights and Measures (ACWM) spotted a coyote den near the neighborhood, according to KCAL.

Newsweek reached out to the ACWM via email on Monday for additional information.

Wild coyotes can be found across North America and are present in all U.S. states except Hawaii. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife estimates 250,000 to 750,000 coyotes live in the state.

“Coyotes provide many ecosystem benefits, such as controlling rodent and other small mammal populations,” according to the department’s website. “They will consume nearly anything, including rodents, rabbits, birds and eggs, reptiles, fruits, and plants, as well as pet food, human food, and trash. Potential conflict with coyotes may occur due to property damage, loss of pets or small livestock, or human health and safety concerns if a coyote loses its natural fear of humans.”

State officials said coyote encounters have increased as human population “expands into wildlife habitat,” and that the wild animals naturally avoid or fear humans.

The fish and wildlife department says residents are advised to not leave their small pets unattended outside, leash their pets while walking and carry a whistle or other “noisemaker” to deter coyotes if an encounter occurs. If a coyote approaches a resident, state officials say, they should keep a safe distance from the animal and to try to back away slowly.

However, according to the department’s website, “If a coyote makes contact, fight back!”