Sometimes we get difficult reminders that we live side by side with wild creatures in the San Ramon Valley.
A Danville family that lives in the Shadow Hills neighborhood is mourning the loss of their dog that was attacked and killed by two coyotes June 30.
The homeowners said the coyotes got through an opening in the fence and grabbed their small dog. The coyotes dropped the animal when the homeowner yelled, but their dog was killed.
Coyotes are common throughout East Bay valleys and California, and usually are more active and visible to people in the spring and summer months when they have young pups to care for, says Gary Beeman, a local wildlife biologist and licensed pest abatement consultant.
Usually they are looking for food and water.
Beeman says coyotes are drawn closer to homes by small cats and dogs; when people leave out trash, or dog and cat food; or when they are handfed by residents.
Handfeeding is a particular problem, he says, because the animals lose their natural fear of humans and venture closer and closer to homes.
Beeman says he has lost “three to four cats” to coyotes and calls it a fact of life when living side by side with the native residents of our area.
Small animals should be kept inside to protect them, and small children should be supervised when playing outside, he says.
Building a fence that is at least 6 feet tall should keep coyotes out of your yard.
Attacks on humans are very rare, he says, but if a coyote is acting aggressively or showing signs it has lost its fear of humans the Department of Fish and Game should be contacted at 707-944-5500.
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