Huntington Beach residents concerned as coyote sightings rise

Steve Thompson/Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Photo of a California coyote. Some Huntington Beach residents recount feeling unsafe when seeing the animals prowl through their neighborhoods.

Reports of aggressive behavior are fresh in the minds of Huntington Beach residents who have witnessed wild coyotes prowling their neighborhoods. According to the Huntington Beach police, the animal intruders have reportedly killed more than two dozen pets, and officers have taken over 200 calls about coyote sightings in a year.

In response to the increase in complaints, the Huntington Beach City Council met Monday night to discuss whether or not to trap and kill the animals. Mayor Pro Tem Devin Dwyer said he suggested the idea out of concern for public safety.

While some locals have petitioned against Dwyer's proposal, Cindi Jordan of Huntington Beach said she's glad the problem is being addressed. Her cat was killed by a coyote recently near her home at the corner of Magnolia and Adams.

"My Crystal got ate at 10 o' clock in the morning, not at night. So there's an issue," she said. "If we could just put signs out that let people know that we're having an issue ... if I had known two months ago, maybe I could have saved my cat."

Jordan's neighbor, Jesse Gossett, said he's seen coyotes act aggressively too. On an evening in August, he said he was at Atlanta and Magnolia when he saw a coyote trotting towards him in a church parking lot.

"I started to make whistle sounds, clapping my hands, yelling — this coyote never slowed down. He passed me less than 10 feet away snarling and growling at me," Gossett recalled. "I am a handicapped person, I've had two back surgeries, I've had a heart attack and heart surgery — I am not going to be able to get away from an animal of this type."

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