City officials say people should not be alarmed by a coyote frequenting the east Roseville area, but they also warn residents to keep their distance and not to feed the animal.
Police report that dispatchers have received many calls from residents concerned that the coyote poses a danger, or that it is sick because it is often seen in the daytime. A number of residents have reported seeing the animal strolling or lounging in Maidu Regional Park, according to a city news release.
Unless a coyote is injured or is acting aggressively toward humans, people are advised not to call animal control or police dispatchers.
City officials said coyotes and other wildlife are common to the Roseville area, and people who live near Maidu Regional Park and other open-space areas often hear coyotes howling and yipping at night. They note that coyotes play an important role in a healthy ecosystem by keeping the rodent population in check.
Coyotes typically are active in the daytime, although some have adapted to certain areas and switched to hunting at night, officials said. They noted that the coyote seen in the Maidu area has not shown any aggression and walks away from anyone who approaches it.
The city animal control officer has found meat scraps and other evidence that someone is feeding coyotes on one of the dirt trails in the park, which might explain why this coyote is hanging out there, officials said.
They stressed that feeding wildlife is against the law and is harmful to wild animals because it can cause them to lose their fear of humans. The more time they spend around populated areas, the more likely they are to come into contact with humans and pets, or to get hit by cars.
City officials advised residents to take steps – such as not leaving pet foot outside – to prevent accidentally feeding coyotes and other wild animals. The animal control officer also saw fast food containers dumped in area parking lots, serving as an invitation to animals in search of food.
Although coyotes prefer to eat rodents and rabbits, they have been known to take cats and small dogs. City officials advise residents living near open spaces to keep small animals indoors and to keep dogs on a leash on trails.
If followed by a coyote, people should make loud noises to scare it away or, if that fails, throw rocks in the animal’s direction.