Coyotes have killed more than a dozen pets in San Jose senior
Residents of San Jose’s Villages Golf & Country Club, a residential community for people 55 and older, say the coyotes attacked and killed their dogs and cats.
It depends ABC 7 News, who spoke with a number of locals about the attacks. Resident Cheryl Genovesi said about 14 pets have died from coyote attacks in the past 15 months, and a number of animals have been injured.
“This coyote came out of nowhere,” resident Diana Holcomb told the outlet, describing an attack in May, when she said a coyote picked up and killed her maltipoo while she was still holding short. small dog leash. “We have been ambushed.”
“I picked her up, broke her neck and punctured her. She was screaming, I was screaming, trying to pull her into my arms,” Holcomb said. “She was already dead. She was dead instantly.”
As people encroach more and more on the natural habitat of coyotes, encounters become more frequent. And when drought conditions make food and water scarce, these slender predators are even more likely to be at risk of approaching people. Experts say animals are naturally afraid of humans, but may view small animals as prey. And if coyotes lose their fear of people, it can cause problems. In February, a coyote bit a three-year-old in Moraga, even as the child’s parent was pushing him away, ABC7 News reported at the time.
Villagers described trying to defend their pets, taking bear spray and weapons with them on walks, as well as attempting to hunt coyotes – tripping a man and falling, sending him to the hospital. “I put it in the bushes, but I fell while doing it,” Nelson Frick told the outlet.
Their efforts did not meet with the success they hoped for, according to Holcomb: “Even if I had had the bear spray with me – because I took it out for just a second – I couldn’t have pulled it off enough. quickly. ” she said. “Because it was there, and it was on [the dog] in seconds. “
The general manager of the residence community called it an “ongoing battle for coexistence,” according to the outlet, saying the coyotes in the area have lost their fear of humans. Villages try to educate residents on ways to eliminate food sources (like bird food and pet food left outside) in the hopes of giving the animals less reason to roam. move.
“Coyotes that are fed in residential neighborhoods can lose their fear of people and can potentially test humans (and pets) as possible prey,” according to the Urban coyote research project. “Intentional feeding, such as bait stations in yards or parks, should be strictly avoided. However, many people unwittingly feed coyotes by leaving pet food or garbage overnight or having large bird feeders. Coyotes aren’t generally interested in bird food, but bird feeders often attract rodents, especially squirrels, which then attract coyotes. “
“I don’t think there are enough bird feeders to attract all of the coyotes we’re dealing with now,” said Frick, who said one of his dogs was also killed by a coyote in May.
California Senator Dave Cortese’s office said lawmakers helped find solutions to the problem.
“Our Department of Fisheries and Wildlife has been working closely with the management and staff of The Villages over the past few months to monitor this situation and administer the best course of action,” the senator’s office wrote in a statement. press release provided to ABC7 News. “My office is also in regular communication with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the villages to serve as a resource and assess what can potentially be done at the legislative level to help reduce these types of conflicts with coyotes in our community. . “
Residents of the community also shared with the outlet a letter from Senator Cortese in which he said the Village Owners Association has the authority to decide whether to trap and euthanize coyotes.
Read Hoodline’s article on How to Safely Handle Encounters with Coyotes to find out what the experts are saying about how to coexist with these increasingly urban animals.