It’s that time of year again when coyotes are being seen in larger numbers in and around South Pasadena, causing residents to be concerned for their safety and the safety of their pets.
City officials have responded by scheduling a meeting at 7 p.m., Feb. 27, at the So Pas Public Library’s Community Room, 1115 El Centro St.
“I know I’ve seen a lot of postings on Nextdoor,” Councilmember Diana Mahmud said during the Feb. 6 City Council meeting. “People are understandably concerned about coyotes and, unfortunately, the coyotes are particularly aggressive now or they may become particularly aggressive now because this is mating season for coyotes and that will continue into February.”
Nextdoor.com is an internet community bulletin-board where residents post information about South Pasadena. It has been lit up lately with coyote sightings.
A resident posted a video taken from their house showing six coyotes crossing the lawn. It was posted on Jan. 22.
One resident responded, saying she’s on “high alert.”
“I’m new to the area and pretty freaked out by and on high alert [regarding] coyotes,” one posting states. “This is really helpful. As cute as they are…[I am] carrying a whistle on walks and only going out with her during the day but I suspect they are also out in the day.”
Another resident posted the following report.
“Two weeks ago on a Saturday evening at 10:30 p.m. I saw two out together in Monterey Hills, on Via Marisol & Via Mia,” the posting states. “It’s puppy season. If you come across them don’t haze, stay calm and back away slowly. They are out looking for food for their pups and are protective. Be safe everyone! They come out at any time of day. Not just at dawn & dusk.”
Mahmud also said the coyote mating season is the same in other parts of the country.
“It was really interesting,” she said. “Apparently, they have the same mating season in Wisconsin, in British Columbia, and locally. So that is why I think we are seeing some additional incidents of coyotes becoming more aggressively than they usually are.”
City officials also have said they have received a significant amount of interest from residents regarding the meeting.
The meeting is being hosted by the South Pasadena Animal Commission and will feature Lauren Hamlet, the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA’s Wildlife coordinator. Hamlet will present a program on coexisting with coyotes.
“Our communities are teeming with native wildlife,” according to a city statement announcing the Feb. 27 meeting. “Years of drought and warmer weather have caused wild animals, like coyotes, to venture further into our communities in search of food, water and shelter.”
The statement goes on to say that the presentation will include a time for residents to ask questions.
“A 45-minute visual presentation will cover topics such as how to make your property uninviting for coyotes, keeping your pets safe in coyote- prone areas, and techniques to use if you encounter a coyote,” it reads.
Councilmember Michael Cacciotti indicated that Arcadia had a significant problem at one time and instituted an aggressive capture and kill policy that resulted in lawsuits. Arcadia revamped its approach and developed a more humane policy.
“I am so pleased the Animal Commission, together with the Pasadena Humane Society, is presenting this program ‘Coexisting with coyotes,’” Mahmud said in an email to The Review. “We’ve all seen the heart-wrenching reports of missing cats or dogs in our neighborhood – we all need to work together to limit the harm coyotes may do in our community. I strongly encourage all residents that are concerned about coyotes to come to this informative presentation to learn how to change habits that lure and retain coyotes in South Pasadena.”
So Pas Mayor Dr. Marina Khubesrian agreed with her colleagues.
“We’re very pleased to bring a wildlife expert from the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA to address this issue and offer practical advice for coexisting with coyotes,” Khubesrian said in an email to The Review. “Our region is experiencing more coyote activity because of weather conditions, so it’s important to understand the steps we can take as individuals to protect our property and pets.”
Mahmud also said the So Pas Animal Commission has been examining the Arcadia Coyote Management policy and that the policy is expected to be discussed at the Feb. 27 meeting. The meeting is scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the library’s Community Room at 1115 El Centro St. City officials encourage residents to attend.