The Riverside Police Department has responded to an increase in coyote sightings and encounters in residential and park areas within the Village. Police officers report that most encounters are from a distance and the coyotes prefer to stay away from human interaction.
Police recommend some very specific actions for residents to take to minimize coyote-human encounters and to protect people and their domestic pets:
Clear away all bushes and dense weeds near your home where coyotes might seek cover.
Do not encourage coyotes by feeding them.
If possible, do not keep garbage cans outside.
Keep barbeque grills clean.
Keep pet food and water dishes inside.
Coyotes, like other wild animals, can become "comfortable" with their environments if unchallenged or unnoticed. If an encounter does occur, police recommend following the guidelines listed below:
Be confident and bold. Make loud noises and make yourself larger by raising your hands above your head or flaring clothing.
Do not be submissive, turn your back, or run.
If you are followed by a coyote, you are likely walking through its territory and it is merely escorting or "shadowing" you to make sure you are not a threat.
Although unlikely, if you encounter aggressive behavior, throw clods of earth, or sticks near the ground by the coyote first, and then, if necessary, towards its body.
Keeping Pets Safe
Coyotes are wild animals who hunt other animals for survival. They have been known to kill foxes which compete with coyotes for small prey. Domestic dogs and cats may sometimes be appealing to coyotes. Below are a few recommendations to keep your pets safe.
Walk your dog or cat on a leash.
Never leave dogs or cats unattended in the yard and always keep them inside at night.
Keep your yard well-illuminated when outdoors at night with your pet.