Wildlife experts explain link between East Bay coyote attacks and CA drought

ByTim Johns via KGO logo
Saturday, September 25, 2021
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Wildlife experts explain why coyotes are coming into Bay Area neighborhoods, and share tips for how to stay safe and keep them away.

DANVILLE, Calif. (KGO) -- Over the past several months, the town of Danville has seen a string of coyote attacks on neighborhood animals.

One of those attacks was on Rhea Saini's dog, Bella.

"Literally a person of our family was taken from us and killed in front of our eyes," Saini said.

PREVIOUS REPORT: Danville residents on high alert after string of coyote attacks

The incident left Saini traumatized, but it's one that wildlife experts say could continue to happen, and even become more frequent.

"This is in large part due to, well there's no other way to put it, drought basically," said Peter Flowers, of the Lindsay Wildlife Experience.

He says as things like wildfires and droughts continue to worsen, that puts pressure on wild animals, forced to move out of their natural habitats and into places where they can find food and water.

"They venture into areas where they feel they can find these items," Flowers said.

VIDEO: Coyote wanders into California classroom and refuses to leave

Flowers says coyotes generally don't attack humans -- something that's been a concern among Danville residents.

"Children that are of an age that could be out walking on their own are generally too large for them. And the only time you're going to see something like that is if a coyote has something wrong with it such as a disease," Flowers said.

For pet owners, Flowers also offered some tips.

They include not feeding your animals outside, eliminating potential hiding spots for coyotes on your property, walking your dog with a normal, not retractable leash for better control, and even considering buying a coyote-proof vest for smaller breeds of dogs.

RELATED: East Bay town to educate people on coyote safety after 5 attacks

As for the town of Danville, they say they're very aware of the problem, with one town councilmember telling ABC7 in a statement:

"We are working with Fish and Wildlife. They have asked us to report all incidents so a clear picture can be made on where the concentrations of coyote attacks are located in Danville. When this information has been received Fish and Wildlife can trap, relocate or euthanize the animal."

It's a small relief for the family of Bella, who say something has to be done.

"I don't want anyone to have to experience what we did, and I know it's happening often," Saini said.