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Midtown Sacramento Coyote

Midtown Sacramento Coyote
Guy Galante Date : Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May 26, 2020

Recently, a female coyote has taken up residence in Midtown and has been seen around the blocks between 22nd and 26th and K and O Streets. She has given birth in a heavily trafficked area, by both cars and foot travel, and unfortunately, right next to a sidewalk. There are a few threads on Nextdoor.com about this and the comments cover a wide spectrum of opinions from delight to fear. This blog is written out of concern. Regardless of your personal feelings toward coyotes, we are asking that you be respectful and choose your best words if you respond to this post. We are also asking that you support our efforts with encouragement to positively address this issue. Our goal is to address this particular situation, and then to prevent it from happening again. We are not advocating that coyotes den in Midtown for forever. Ultimately, we are advocating for long-term solutions for the safety of people and wildlife.

We know that this is not an ideal situation and that it is undesirable for many. This is a delicate situation that we are seeking to address safely and humanely, and we want you to know how we are handling it so that all parties involved stay safe and informed. 

We are in conversations with Animal Control, Project Coyote AND a biologist at CA Fish and Wildlife on how we can have a coordinated effort to raise awareness and take positive steps forward AND, we have sought advice from the City of Davis’s Wildlife Resource Specialist. We have asked Sac PD (apparently, they are getting many calls about this) to refer concerned callers to projectcoyote.org to obtain information and resources on how you can be part of a humane solution in this unique situation. 

Until everyone gets on the same page, it is up to all of us to navigate the situation using best practices, which at this time means- avoid contact with the coyote(s) as to not acclimate her/them or stress mama out to the point that she lashes out.

The best-case scenario is that we give her some space, and she raises her pups and relocates them herself. We “tolerate” it until we see what she does. Once they are all mobile, steps can be taken to try to push them back towards the river corridor. With enough public support, they could be relocated, but that is easier said than done, but possible. THEN, the community must work together to help prevent repeating this scenario.

At this time, if you know where she “lives” the best bet is to simply avoid her all together. Walk on the other side of the street. Leash your dog. By all means, do not feed coyotes or put water out for them. We do not want to habituate her any more than she may be already. Do not try to scare her away if she is in the pupping area- just use caution. However, if the coyote becomes defensive while protecting her pups, we want you to know what to do.

It is rare for a coyote to attack a human. However, since this coyote has pups, she may snarl at you and leashed dogs, and unleashed dogs pose a much greater threat if you get near her. PLEASE- leash your dog. If you find yourself feeling unsafe near the coyote and (hopefully) you are away from the pupping area, yell at it and wave your arms, stomp your feet, do not throw things directly at her, approach her, or her pups. You can also carry a whistle or noise maker to redirect her. But remember, her behavior may be different if you are AT the den site. Give her space!

While these conversations are happening, we are in the process of distributing informative door hangers and talking with residents and walkers in the area. If you are one who just wants the problem to go away, we ask that you please be patient and to do your best to be informed. This is all a process and will take a coordinated effort to remedy. In the meantime, please do what you can to raise your own awareness about this topic. Simply Googling “Urban coyotes” will result in a number of valid links to check out. We like projectcoyote.org and urbancoyoteinitiative.com among others.

The coyote is active during the day for many reasons 1) she has babies to feed 2) she is being displaced by cars and onlookers. It is not unusual to see coyotes during the day, especially in urban environments. Generally speaking, they are more active at dawn and dusk. In urban environments, the pressures make them move more during daytime hours. Daytime sightings do not imply that the coyote is sick. She’s not. In fact, she looks pretty healthy and is acting like a “normal” coyote- other than choosing an unusual pupping site. It is up to all of us to ensure the current situation is a success story.  We hope you can be part of a happy ending. Thank you for reading.

Update: While writing this blog, we received a notification that the section of sidewalk by the den has been temporarily blocked off by Animal Control for the sake of “public safety”. It buys us a little time to formulate a long-term plan.


 

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