Orange County

Huntington Beach Holds Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Coyote Sightings

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Coyote sightings are common in Southern California, and if it seems like you're seeing them more often, you're not alone.

Dozens turned out for a town hall meeting to discuss the issue after a coyote attacked a 2-year-old girl in Huntington Beach.

Eventually, the city wants to create a taskforce of sorts, a neighbor watch for coyotes so that each sighting is reported and logged. But, with a simple show of hands, people who live here say they want a solution now.

“How many of you have seen a coyote in your community? yea, basically everybody,” Kevin Frager with OC animal care said. 

Not as many, but plenty inside this informational townhall say they lost pets to coyotes.

“We were home. He jumped over my fence, picked up my dog, jumped back, ate him, ate him across the street,” Janet Nemmert said. 

The long time Huntington Beach resident is not shy about what she thinks needs to happen.


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“I say kill them all, the coyotes,” Nemmert said. 

It’s not what state and local animal experts feel is the solution...nor do they say is relocation

 “You take a coyote out of its habitat. First thing it's going to do is turn around and come right back,” said Rebecca Barboza, a biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

“You have alphas and betas, once you wipe out the alphas, the betas move in so instead of three, you'll have nine mating pairs,” said Randal Massaro with the union members for preservation of wildlife. 

People who live here say the coyote sightings in Huntington Beach are not new.

And the sightings became international news when a week and a half ago a coyote attacked a 2-year-old girl on the sand, which animal experts say is a rare occurrence. 

“A normal healthy coyote, they're fearful of people,” said Frager.

They come in search of food, mostly rodents.

“They play a significant role in the ecological order of our community,” said Aaron Pai, a resident and business owner. 

This resident feels they are necessary and should be protected.

“I think we all just need to coexist with coyotes -- they're ultimately the locals in this town ... they were here first,” Pai said. 

“We were first here too,” Betty Flynn, a resident, said. “I think the bottom line is they don't want to be in the wetlands, they're moving up the food chain they're not eating the squirrels, rats they're looking for something else.”

Since we know coyotes are in their natural habitat, experts gave some suggestions to keep them away from your home and pets.

Their number one food source is rodents, so keep your landscaping clean so rodents don't have a place to hide or nest

Also if you have fruit trees, pick up the fruit from the ground.

Coyotes like to go in tight spaces so clear out any brush around your home where they may hide.

And they like water, so if you have an outdoor fountain, coyotes see that as a big drinking fountain.

If you see a coyote make loud noises to scare them off.

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