Hearing from neighbors that a coyote has recently been spotted on their street or in their yard. Coyotes are part of our urban wildlife landscape & do their part to help keep Seattle pest free. These intelligent and adaptable animals occupy almost every conceivable habitat type, from open ranch country to densely forested areas to downtown waterfront, so it is no surprise that we see them in the neighborhood on occasion.
What to do when a coyote is too close for comfort
Tips from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife: If a coyote ever approaches too closely, pick up small children immediately and act aggressively toward the animal. Wave your arms, throw stones, and shout at the coyote. If necessary, make yourself appear larger by standing up (if sitting) or stepping up onto a rock, stump, or stair. The idea is to convince the coyote that you are not prey, but a potential danger.
Where coyote encounters occur regularly, keep noisemaking and other scare devices nearby. A starter pistol can be effective; so can a vinegar-filled super soaker or a powerful spray of water from a hose. Where pyrotechnics are out of the question, construct a “clapper”. A solid walking stick, pepper spray, or paintball gun are powerful deterrents at close range.
Keep dogs and cats indoors, especially from dusk to dawn. If left outside at night in an unprotected area, cats and small to mid-size dogs may be killed by coyotes. Pets can be easy prey for coyotes. Being raised by humans leaves them unsuspecting once they leave the safety of your home. If you suspect losing a dog or cat to a coyote, notify your neighbors. Once a coyote finds easy prey it will continually hunt in the area.
For more safety tips & information on coyotes, please visit: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/coyotes.html