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Cat Killed by Coyote in East Davis: City Offers Hazing Tips

"This recent incident marks a new and unfortunate change in foraging behavior for these coyotes."

A coyote captured and killed a domestic cat in the area near Alhambra Apartments in east Davis on Tuesday.

Coyotes have been a topic of conversation in town ever since a Department of Agriculture specialist killed five of them near Wildhorse Golf Course this summer. A Facebook page called Project Save Davis Coyotes was even started. They encourage hazing coyotes to discourage them from getting comfortable in residential areas and becoming a threat to domestic pets. 

The City of Davis shared this on their Facebook page Thursday in response to the above-mentioned cat killing. 

Although coyotes have been observed in the agricultural fields to the north of Alhambra Apartments for the last several months, they had been keeping their distance from the residential area and exhibiting acceptable behavior. This recent incident marks a new and unfortunate change in foraging behavior for these coyotes. Coyote management volunteers are currently attempting to locate the coyotes and implement hazing to move them out of the area.

The city would like to remind all residents of the urban/ agricultural transition areas that coyotes are a present and important wildlife species. Coyotes help to keep the populations of potential pest species like rats and mice down to a minimum. However, they are opportunistic, and will eat other available food items including trash, pet food and small pets. Access to these food items brings the coyotes closer to our neighborhoods. This closer contact reduces the coyote’s natural fear of humans and increases the risk of conflict. 

It is important to understand that lethal removal of coyotes is not a sustainable solution to reducing conflict with them, nor is it an appropriate response to the recent incident. We as a community must embrace the fact that coyotes are abundant in the region and will never go away. We must also work together to prevent undesirable coyote behavior by eliminating access to food resources and implementing hazing methods to reinforce their natural wariness of people. 

Tips for living with coyotes:

• Remove attractants from around your home: pick up fallen fruits, pick up trash, secure trash bins, and feed pets inside. Don’t leave food or pets outside at night. Don’t let your pets roam from the yard.
• Keep coyotes from hopping the fence into your yard by installing deterrents. Motion activated sprinklers, “fence rollers”, and angled fence top barriers work very well (see resources below).
• Walk dogs on leashes, especially during coyote pup season (Apr-Aug). Pick up your small pets if you see a coyote.
• If approached by a coyote or see one in your yard, don’t panic. Stand your ground, wave your arms, make noise and walk toward the coyote until it retreats. Be the dominant species!
• Avoid areas where coyotes may be denning or feeding/ hiding pups.

Resources:
www.projectcoyote.org
www.nixalite.com/scarecrow.aspx
www.coyoteroller.com

Staying Anonymous December 13, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Unfortunate for the cat, and its owner if it had one. However, let's hope this isn't used as an excuse to exterminate more coyotes. Outdoor cats are at high risk for injuries from cars, dogs, coyotes and other wildlife, as well as bacterial and viral infections from fighting or close contact with other free-roaming cats. Cat owners should keep their cats indoors if they're not willing to accept these risks.
It happens every year December 14, 2012 at 03:50 PM
Coyotes are at risk of accidental death from the dominant species in the area. Thus they should restrain their activities to areas outside the residential areas. If they should happen to wander into residential yards, they should wear bullet proof vests. If they eat pet food, they should first inspect it for possible poisons.
Staying Anonymous December 14, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Free-roaming cats wreak havoc on wildlife, so incidents like this are somewhat ironic. This anti-predator mentality seems rather antiquated.
Janet December 14, 2012 at 06:10 PM
This is exactly the type of incident the city's coyote management plan will address. The plan goes to the city council for approval on January 15. The tactics listed above to discourage unwelcome coyote behavior are excellent examples of actions the community can take to protect their property, and coyotes.
Cfranc December 14, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Wow - the city really said this? "This recent incident marks a new and unfortunate change in foraging behavior for these coyotes." I lived in Mace Ranch in the earlier 2000s, and over the course of a couple of years literally every outdoor cat in our neighborhood disappeared, while at the same time we witnessed coyotes roaming the neighborhood at night. Before the high school went in, we could hear them all howling together there in the field. It was kind of cool -- except for the loss of cats! That was really heartbreaking. We also used to see coyotes wandering through what is now Mace Ranch Park, before the middle school went in. (That was back when there were still real life burrowing owls there, too, and not just a grassy hare corral.) I've since left and returned to Mace Ranch, and there seem to be far fewer coyote sightings than there were before. I want to stress, though, that this is not a new problem, or a new behavior. It's coyotes being coyotes, as usual.
Roberto December 15, 2012 at 08:06 AM
I have to line up on the coyote's side. People who let their cats outside are putting their pets at risk with coyotes, large birds of prey, cars, dogs, etc. If they loved their cats so much they would keep them inside. Don't blame the coyote. Outside cats kill as much or more of our small wildlife as any coyote.
Staying Anonymous December 15, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I'm with you, Roberto, but it may not be a question of how much a particular cat is loved. It's more a question, I think, of how much risk the cat's owner is willing to accept without complaining about the consequences, and expecting municipal authorities to intervene. Cats fly under the radar. They're not required to be rabies vaccinated, housed, spayed, neutered, leashed or licensed, and being prey at the same time as being a predator may simply be the price of admission.
Brian March 29, 2013 at 10:33 AM
You guys are morons. Coyotes are a predator. Period! Davis idiots just put the coyote on top of the food chain. Watch them breed, run out of rabbits, skunks and turkeys to eat then guess what's next. Your cats, dogs even small children will be attacked. You Davis people blow my mind. You've gotta be the dumbest damn smart people I know. Protect a predator? What's next? Gonna protect sexual predators too? Thank god I don't live in that stupid ass community anymore. Can't wait to read about more cats and dogs being attacked. Morons!

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