Missing pets, mounting coyote sightings in South Bay

June 26, 2010 12:06:28 AM PDT
A scary problem has surfaced for people living in the South Bay. Coyotes have suddenly started popping up in Santa Clara neighborhoods. In fact, there have been so many sightings, and even attacks on people's pets, that vector control is taking action.

Santa County Vector Control has evidence more coyotes are moving in and getting more aggressive. Residents in Saratoga, Campbell, and San Jose are calling with reports that coyotes are attacking their pets.

Experts say the coyotes are migrating, not because they are running out of space, but because it is easier to hunt in urban areas.

"When the takings are easy they'll get actually adapted to the presence of people and they will start being seen during the day time walking down the streets and often with cats and dogs in their mouths," said Russ Parman of Santa Clara County Vector Control.

Next month, vector control will go door to door, passing out flyers and warning homeowners to keep their pets inside at night, walk them only on a short leash, and never leave pet food or water outside.

"The coyotes did destroy some cat in the neighborhood. The remains of the cat were found, so we're concerned about pets in particular," said Saratoga resident Peter Camp.

One coyote den was only a few feet from the Camp family's Saratoga home.

"I like wildlife, but I don't like it in my backyard," said Susan Camp.

In a Campbell neighborhood not far from Westmont High School, people recently started noticing more and more missing pet signs going up. At around the same time, the coyote sightings also started.

Now neighbors are putting up their own signs. They are afraid things could get worse.

Last year, vector control successfully trapped seven coyotes. All were euthanized.


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