Thursday, March 20, 2014

Residents Hear About Coyotes

Wednesday evening the Costa Mesa Police Department hosted approximately 40 residents in City Council Chambers for a very informative presentation by Lieutenant Kent Smirl of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on the subject of Urban Coyotes.  He was joined by Costa Mesa Police Sergeant Bryan Wadkins.  CMPD Public Information Officer Lieutenant Greg Scott and Chief Tom Gazsi, plus Animal Control Officers Anna Rodriquez and Art Beames, were also present.
(CMPD Sergeant Bryan Wadkins)
During the hour-long program, most of which was a Question and Answer period, Smirl provided a wealth of information about urban coyotes and how to deal with the problem. Here are some of the highlights:
(California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lieutenant Kent Smirl)
  • There have only been 21 attacks by coyotes on humans in the past 7 years.
  • During the same period there have been 4.5 million dog bites and 31 people killed by dogs.
  • The best way to deter coyotes from invading our neighborhoods is to deny them the "Big 3" - Food, Water and Shelter.
  • If you encounter a coyote, "haze it" - make yourself as tall and loud as possible.  Typically, the coyote will run.
  • Encourage your entire neighborhood to discourage coyotes.  Spread the word.
  • Don't feed feral cats.  It's against the law and they are a food source for coyotes.
  • Don't feed raccoons, possums or skunks.  They are a food source for coyotes.
  • Don't feed coyotes.  When you do its signing it's death warrant.
  • Coyotes may not be trapped and released elsewhere.
  • Coyotes prefer domestic pets because they are easier to obtain.
  • Coyotes can easily leap a 6 foot fence.
  • Coyotes WILL enter a doggie door, following the scent of your pet.
Many residents shared personal stories of encounters with coyotes in our city.  Sergeant Wadkins told us that the CMPD will NOT respond to a coyote sighting unless there is an eminent danger to the public.  The animal control officers will not attempt to trap and remove a coyote.
 (Animal Control Officer Anna Rogriquez)
To reach the Animal Control officers call 715-754-5311 and leave a message or call the CMPD non-emergency line at 714-754-5252 for Dispatch.  As always, if there is eminent danger call 911.
 (Rodriquez and  Coyote activist Christy Roget)
One speaker suggested that the best solution was a Collective Community approach - where everyone in the community understands what to do about attractants that lure coyotes into our neighborhoods and agree to band together to eliminate those attractants.  Following the meeting many members of the crowd lingered to speak with Smirl and Wadkins.
This was only the most recent effort on the part of the CMPD to educate the residents about the issue of urban coyotes.  HERE is an excellent piece created by Scott last year from the City's website.  In addition, take a look at this excellent video clip by Costa Mesa Crime Prevention Specialist Kelly Vucinic on the subject.

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Blogger Joe said...

A bit off topic, but needing to be shared- look what kind of fine the feds come up with for environmental damage. Will Costa Mesa and/or the lunkheads who made the Fairview Park mystery trail face something similar?

3/20/2014 06:12:00 AM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Excellent presentation!
Great job, CMPD and all who made this possible.

3/20/2014 11:12:00 PM  

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