Frequent coyote sightings reported in West Menlo, Sharon Heights | January 1, 2020 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

Almanac

News - January 1, 2020

Frequent coyote sightings reported in West Menlo, Sharon Heights

by Kate Bradshaw

Sharon Heights and West Menlo Park residents have been making frequent posts on the online network Nextdoor recently reporting coyote sightings in the area.

Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA spokeswoman Buffy Tarbox said that while the organization cannot confirm that it has received more reports of sightings than usual, it's not uncommon for coyotes to be seen in urban areas of the Peninsula.

Whether it's due to people leaving dog or cat food outside that draws the coyotes in, or the animals themselves — cats in particular — the coyotes are probably coming into neighborhoods because there is food there, she said.

The increase in postings may have more to do with people being more aware and paying more attention. Often, coyotes can look like dogs, and they are reported as stray dogs. Generally, the humane society receives more calls about coyotes in Daly City and South San Francisco, she said.

Coyotes live in urban areas, but are wild animals. If you see a coyote in the neighborhood, the humane society recommends avoiding it.

A few tips: Keep cats indoors and dogs on a leash while walking outside, and make sure to bring all animals in at night. Harming coyotes intentionally is illegal, Tarbox noted.

Coyotes can be active during the day or night, so seeing them during the day "does not mean they are in distress or ill," she said. They usually hunt at dawn and dusk.

"We just want to do everything to coexist as peacefully as possible in the environment we share with them," she said. "They don't want a negative interaction with a human any more than humans want a negative interaction with a coyote."

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