PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — The Santa Monica Police Department wants residents to know that coyotes are active in this area and have offered tips so that all can co-exist.
“One of the great features of living in an urban area like Santa Monica is the ability to be so close to nature and the local mountains that are full of native species like raccoons, possums, squirrels, and coyotes,” read a community bulletin distributed Friday by the SMPD. “While some may curse the existence of coyotes, the Native Americans considered them to be the smartest animals on earth, and many residents and naturalists enjoy the opportunities to see and hear these vocal predators.”
Coyotes have adapted well to life in urban environments and are very opportunistic hunters preying on small mammals — including domestic cats and small dogs, police said. Coyotes in populated areas are less fearful of people and have been known to attack pets.
Humans can coexist with coyotes by following these tips:
• Always supervise your pet when outside, especially during the hours between dusk and dawn.
• Never leave cats or dogs outside after dark. If you must leave your pet outside, consider securing it in a fully enclosed kennel.
• Don’t leave pet food and water outside.
• Always keep your pet on a leash when walking them outdoors; this is very important during evening or early morning hours when coyotes are known to be out searching for food.
• Make certain your pets are current on their vaccinations in case of contact with any wildlife.
If a coyote approaches you:
• Do not run or turn your back.
• Be as big and loud as possible.
• Wave your arms and throw objects.
• Face the coyote and back away slowly.
• If attacked, fight back.
Anyone with questions or concerns may contact the SMPD’s Animal Control Unit at (310) 458-8594.