PALM SPRINGS — Due to an increase in the number of reported coyote sightings, the city of Palm Springs has issued a community alert.

Coyotes are drawn to residential neighborhoods in search of food, water, shelter – and sometimes, pets. Palm Springs Animal Control is aware of several instances where pet dogs and cats have been injured or killed by coyotes. This activity occurs throughout the city and is not isolated to or concentrated in any particular areas. While this activity is concerning for the safety of pets, it does not indicate an increased threat or danger for coyote attacks on humans.

Coyotes are naturally fearful of humans, but they can become less cautious and more brazen when they find access to food, water and pets in areas populated by people, according to Communications Director Amy Blaisdell. Trapping and euthanizing coyotes have not proven to be effective options to decrease or eliminate coyote populations.

Palm Springs Animal Control recommends “coyote hazing” as the most effective practice for avoiding and discouraging the creatures. There are a wide variety of hazing options residents can use if you and your pet are approached by one of the animals, including yelling and waving your arms, and using whistles.

Residents may also use air horns, bells, or homemade noisemakers, They may also spray the animal with water, vinegar water, pepper spray or throw small objects in the direction of the coyote until it leaves the area entirely.

Residents are urged to never run from one of the creatures.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, coyotes occupy the ecological niche wolves once did. They have even expanded into cities. Coyotes usually eat small prey such as mice and rabbits, keeping rodent populations in check. People can coexist peacefully with these animals by keeping cats indoors, removing bird seed and pet food from backyards and “hazing” animals who become too familiar with humans—driving them away through nonlethal means.

For additional information about hazing or to request an Animal Control Officer at a neighborhood meeting, please contact Palm Springs Animal Control at (760) 323-8151.

Image Sources

  • Coyote: Pixaby