Coyote sightings have recently become more frequent, as "Urban Coyotes" live and thrive throughout Orange County. While Rancho Santa Margaita is in close proximity to large open space and rural areas, providing an ideal environment for coyotes to inhabit, many of the coyotes seen in our residential neighborhoods are the offspring of generations of coyotes who have adapted to city living.
Though these animals are far from domesticated, they are very comfortable living in close proximity to human beings. They have little fear of people and are frequently seen within a few feet of joggers and walkers. Coyotes are most active at night and during the early morning and late evening hours. However, young coyotes tend to be more active during daylight hours than adults.
While not normally a danger to human beings, coyotes will display defensive behaviors if threatened or cornered. Coyotes in California typically breed during the months of January through April, and can be very aggressive when their young are threatened. Domestic dogs are especially vulnerable to an attack during this time.
A dog or cat left in a backyard can be snatched in a matter of moments. It is not unusual for a coyote to “stalk” a residence for several days observing the routine of their prey before attacking.
Even a fully fenced yard will not keep out a hungry, athletic coyote. These animals are extremely agile and can easily scale any residential fence. All children should be taught from a very early age to avoid strange animals, whether domestic or non-domestic. When older children are walking through trails or parks, they should be instructed on coyote safety.
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