<b>NO FEAR:</b> The coyote in La Mesa Park has grown accustomed to its human neighbors.
Paul Wellman

The normal food of wild coyotes ranges from insects and mice to small deer, but the Santa Barbara Police Department has begun to get more frequent calls of coyote sightings in the city, leading to fears for small pets and children. They advise keeping an eye on both when they’re outside, even in the yard.

Normally nocturnal hunters, coyotes may be brought out during daylight hours by the extreme drought conditions, as well as by raw meat left out at La Mesa Park, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood of the Santa Barbara Police Department. Active feeding of wild animals not only brings them closer to human habitations but also reduces their natural fear of people.

To keep wild animals in the wild and out of urban habitats, the police advise residents to keep lids tightly closed on trash cans, keep animal enclosures well secured, and remove all pet and poultry food and water from outdoor areas at night. If you should run into a wild animal, do not turn your back. Pick up small pets and children and back away while making loud noises. Sightings of or conflicts involving wild animals can be called in to the area Fish & Wildlife office at (805) 568-1231.


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