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Sharing our city with coyotes and other wildlife
Last Updated: 11/16/2016
Recently many residents have seen a coyote strolling and lounging around in Maidu Regional Park and other east Roseville locations. Coyotes and other wildlife have lived in Roseville for a very long time! Residents who live near Maidu and other open space areas often hear their neighborhood coyotes howling and yipping at night. Coyotes are top-tier predators that play an important role in a healthy ecosystem, by keeping rodent populations in check.
This particular Maidu-area coyote has caused many alarmed calls into police dispatch from people concerned that the coyote is posing a danger, or is sick because it's so frequently seen in the daytime. Here are a few things to know about this coyote and our wildlife population in general.
--It's perfectly normal for coyotes to be active in the daytime. Some coyotes have adapted to certain areas and switched to hunting at night, because it's more advantageous or in order to avoid humans, but daytime activity is normal and doesn't mean the coyote is sick.
--The coyote has not shown any aggression. It walks away from anyone who approaches it, which is healthy and normal.
--Our animal control officer found meat scraps and other evidence that someone was feeding coyotes on one of the dirt trails in Maidu, which might explain why this coyote is hanging out all the time. FEEDING WILDLIFE IS AGAINST THE LAW, AND IS HARMFUL TO WILDLIFE. Fed wildlife lose their natural fear of humans. They will start seeking human-provided food instead of their own natural diet. Because they will hang out around human areas more, they are more likely to come into contact with humans and pets, or to get hit by cars. Remember the old saying: "A fed coyote is a dead coyote."
--Keep it wild. Take steps to prevent accidentally feeding the coyote and other wildlife, and "inviting" them into your property. Our animal control officer also saw fast food containers dumped in parking lots in the area. Pick up your litter and put it in a secure trash can. Make sure your garbage cans are secure. Don't leave pet food outside.
--If followed by a coyote, make loud noises to scare it away. If this fails, throw rocks in the animal's direction.
--While coyotes' preferred food consists of rodents and rabbits, they have been known to take cats and small dogs. If you live near the open space areas, it's a good idea to keep small pets inside.
--It's the law in Roseville, and a very good idea too, to keep your dogs on leash on our trails. You don't want your dogs to chase or get into a confrontation with wildlife.
Unless the coyote is injured or is acting aggressively toward humans, there is no need to call animal control or police dispatch about it. Enjoy your glimpse of Roseville's wildlife population.