SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — In case you haven't heard, coyote sightings in San Diego have been on the rise lately. Just this week, News 8 has done two stories on coyote encounters – one in Bay Ho and one in La Mesa. On Thursday, a News 8 viewer sent a video of yet another coyote from the Otay Ranch neighborhood in Chula Vista.
The video – which appears to be shot from a vehicle – shows the coyote trotting down the street during the day. It doesn't appear to be startled by the presence of humans or cars as it runs along a neighborhood street.
On Wednesday, a La Mesa couple found a coyote shading itself in their backyard. The animal stayed for several hours, playing with a dead opossum it had drug into the yard and napping. In the early evening, the homeowners– Eli and Julie Hamm – left to run an errand and when they returned the coyote was nowhere to be found, much to their relief.
"He looks at us like he is taking a nap, like 'don't bother me, this is my spot,'" said Julie.
On Thursday, News 8's Kelly Hessedal spoke to an expert about the stubborn coyote and why it behaved as it did:
Earlier in the week, a woman in Bay Ho reported a coyote had killed her two beloved Chihuahuas. The attack happened last week when the dogs were left alone in a yard. The body of one dog was found, while the only sign of the other was a trail of blood. The dogs' owner Krystal Ruiz posted flyers throughout the neighborhood, which is near Clairemont, to warn other pet owners of the danger.
“I would hate for someone else to go through what we are going through," said Krystal. "My kids loved them.”
According to Project Wildlife in San Diego, it is common to see coyotes moving into urban areas hunting for food, especially with the recent high temperatures in the region. They say the heat, recent wildfires and the lack of rain have coyotes looking for food and water in areas they may have not searched at other times.
“They are like everyone else. They are trying to find something to drink, a place to cool off. There is nothing we can do. Let them do what they do naturally and that is roam the area,” said Lauren Dubois, director of Wild Rehabilitation, Project Wildlife.
Project Wildlife recommends that if you make it uncomfortable for coyotes, they will leave. Further, they advise to keep trash covered up, be loud, use lights and install taller fences.
Project Wildlife said coyotes cannot be removed unless injured or if they have hurt a human.