Coyotes observed in the City of Goleta, a little more brazen and numerous than usual, have prompted officials to issue a public service announcement (PSA) asking residents to be on the lookout and take a few basic precautions to avoid any potentially hairy run-ins.
The coyotes were observed — both individually and in small groups — over the last few weeks near Lake Los Carneros and Stow Grove Park, according to Goleta spokesperson Valerie Kushnerov, who noted it’s not unheard of for the animals to come down from the national forest into suburban areas in search of food and water.
“While this in and of itself is not cause for alarm,” wrote Kushnerov in the PSA, “the City is encouraging you to be aware of their presence, take steps to discourage them from staying in the area, and, most importantly, take steps to keep your children and small pets safe. Coyotes should not feel comfortable around you or your home.”
An adult coyote typically weighs between 25 and 35 pounds. They have pointed ears, slender muzzles, and drooping, bushy tails that they tuck under their back legs when they run. Coyotes’ coats are grayish-brown with a tinge of red behind the ears and around the face, and their tracks appear in a straight line on the ground.
“Do not feed coyotes,” Kushnerov stated. “Coyotes have an adequate food supply and are capable of surviving without our help. In suburban areas coyotes prey on rats, squirrels, garbage, yard fruit, and small domestic pets. By feeding coyotes, you put yourself, your neighborhood, and the coyote at risk,” she went on. “A coyote that becomes dependent on humans for food may become too bold around humans, bite someone, and have to be destroyed.”
Read the full PSA below.