1. Why was the Wildlife Watch Designation placed on the neighborhood?
A number of household pets had been reported missing or killed by wildlife in the immediate area. Nighttime coyote activity is common in Long Beach. However, this was a result of reported daytime coyote activity in the neighborhood, including sightings of the animal between the hours of 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM. Fish and Game considers daytime activity to be abnormal, and evidence that the animal may have lost its fear of humans.
2. What does the Wildlife Watch entail?
In this case, the first step is to educate residents about the presence of wild animals and of coyotes in particular so that people will remove attractants (e.g. food, water and shelter) that draw the animals to the area. Also, we will send our license canvassers into the area to distribute information and check on rabies and licensing information; as well as look for open trash cans, pet food bowls left outside, or free roaming animals.
3. Do you trap coyotes?
Not typically. Coyotes are very clever and very difficult to capture. However, in this circumstance the press release elicited reports of a coyote in the immediate area which we were able to track to its hiding space under a resident family's home. Our most experienced officers were able to capture this coyote. It was humanely euthanized and will be tested for rabies. We think we have removed at least one immediate threat, but the goal is to now remove the attractants that brought him there.
4. How long does the Wildlife Watch last?
Depends. Rather, as long as necessary to reduce the attractants that are drawing the animals to the neighborhood. Last year, (June 2009) the designation was placed on the 90807 due to the high volume of reported sighting in Bixby Knolls. We did a workshop with Fish and Game, set-up added patrols, worked with Code Enforcement to clear over-grown lots, and enforce licensing requirements. The word got out and the calls went down.
5. What can residents do to protect their pets?
Do not let animals roam freely; eliminate attractants (e.g. food, water and shelter); visit our website at: www.longbeach.gov/acs ; and report any daytime wild animal activity.