As many Yorba Linda residents know, coyotes are a common sight in our residential neighborhoods, as well as throughout Orange County. Although these animals are far from being domesticated, they are very comfortable living near human beings and have been doing so for many years. The City shares a 19-mile urban wildlife interface with Chino Hills State Park to the north and the Santa Ana Riverbed to the south, and provides extensive landscaping conducive to coyote habitation.
Residents must be very proactive in keeping coyotes at bay. Wild animals can lose their natural fear of humans and become more aggressive when they find convenient food sources in urban settings, so the best way to keep them away is to eliminate sources of food and water. That means tightly closing trash cans, putting pet food and water inside, and keeping pets inside at night. Since small pets can easily become prey, they should not be allowed outside alone, even in a fenced yard. It is highly recommended that pet owners also accompany pets outdoors.
The best way to minimize the nuisance and losses caused by urban coyotes is to take the following precautions:
- Fully enclose all outdoor animal areas;
- Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult;
- Keep pets indoors when not supervised;
- Keep trash containers closed;
- Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush or weeds;
- Enclose the bottoms of porches and decks; and
- Eliminate all potential food and water sources.
Coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, but may be seen at any hour of the day. While rarely a danger to humans, coyotes will display defensive behaviors if threatened or cornered. If you do encounter a coyote that behaves aggressively, you have probably gotten too close to its prey or its family, so increase the distance between you and the coyote. Residents may find additional information on the coyote awareness page of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife website.
To report a coyote sighting, please fill out the online coyote sighting form or email Mark Aalders. The information you provide will be sent to the City’s contract trapper to make the final determination on whether to trap the coyote(s). The general policy of the City of Yorba Linda, Orange County Animal Care, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is not to trap coyotes. Residents are also encouraged to report ill or injured coyotes to Orange County Animal Care at 714-935-6848. If a coyote become aggressive or threatening, residents should dial 911 immediately.