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Be cautious of coyotes in Cerritos

December 30, 2019

There has been a recent increase in sightings of coyotes throughout Cerritos and nearby communities. Residents should take the following precautions to avoid encounters with the wild animals:

  • Feed pets indoors.
  • Eliminate potential food and water sources, such as fallen fruit or standing water.
  • Keep yards free of thick brush and weeds.
  • Enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.
  • Keep dogs on a leash at all times when outdoors.
  • Keep small animals inside or supervised when outdoors. A fenced yard will not protect small animals because coyotes can easily scale residential fences.

Domestic dogs are especially vulnerable to coyote attacks. Adult coyotes are mainly active at night or in the early morning hours, while young coyotes are often active during the day. California coyotes have adapted to residential neighborhoods, parks and open spaces in urban and suburban areas. They are especially prevalent in areas bordering a flood channel.

Residents who see a coyote in their neighborhood should try to scare it away by shouting, throwing rocks, blowing portable air horns or acting in other aggressive ways in order to reinforce the coyote's fear of people. Motion-sensitive lights on houses or outbuildings may also deter coyotes from approaching.

If an aggressive or fearless coyote approaches you or your pet, consider the following tips:

  • Shout in a deep voice.
  • Wave your arms.
  • Throw objects at the animal.
  • Look the coyote directly in the eyes.
  • Stand up if you are seated.
  • If you are wearing a coat or vest, spread it open like a cape so that you appear larger.
  • Retreat from the situation by walking backward slowly. Do not turn your back on the coyote.

The City of Cerritos contracts with Long Beach Animal Care Services to provide a wide range of services, including coyote management. The City of Long Beach has a comprehensive coyote management plan and that plan serves as the de facto plan for Cerritos by extension of the service contract. The majority of cities in the region all have similar coyote management plans as each plan must be in accord with the regulations established by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. To access the comprehensive coyote management plan, please visit https://bit.ly/2lTHFJE.

If you see a coyote, fill out an online "Wildlife Incident Report" on the Long Beach Animal Care Services website at longbeach.gov/acs/wildlife/coyote-report. The website has additional information about coyotes.

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