Coyotes roam the foothills of Santa Barbara and Goleta as their home territory, but an overly inquisitive one was reported by two people walking a small dog near Cathedral Oaks and Winchester Canyon Road, in the Mountain View Ranch neighborhood on June 8. The coyote approached very closely, but they shooed it off by waving their arms and shouting.
That’s the right way to scare off a coyote, said Jessica Ortega-Wiebe, with Santa Barbara County Animal Services. To keep them away from residences, she said, put away any food and water left outdoors that might attract a coyote. Also, for the safety of cats and small dogs, bring them inside at night, she suggested.
Though coyotes are nocturnal, they hunt or travel during daylight hours in drought conditions and when pushed from their regular territory by fire, such as last year’s Alisal Fire up the coast, Ortega-Wiebe explained. While their diet normally consists of rodents, reptiles, fawns, birds, and eggs, they’ll also go after small pets, backyard birds, and other available sustenance.
If your pet is attacked, be sure to take them to the veterinarian for parvo or rabies boosters, she added.