Living in LA, it can be easy to forget that California is one of the most ecologically diverse landscapes in the United States, if not the world. Across the beaches and mountains, the forests and deserts, 47 percent of mammal species living in the US can be found in California. And while you may not regularly see coyotes running down the 5, they still call LA County home — and sightings have been on the rise. If you have a pet, there are simple steps you can take to keep them safe from their wild relatives — starting with removing anything tempting, such as food, and knowing that your local Montebello animal control department is just a phone call away.
Before LA and the surrounding cities were built up, hundreds of animal species — from Gila monsters to black bears — inhabited the area where we live today. And, just like us, they like to escape the summer heat. While not all bears are as brazen as the one who lounged in a Sierra Madre pool in 2014, more bears than you may expect are taking to the city for refuge. Coyotes, on the other hand, often come out in the summer in order to find as much food as possible for their new cubs. And with each new wildfire, more and more animals are fleeing the woods into the city.
If you have pets, it can be extra concerning knowing that wild animals may be in your neighborhood during the summer. Wild animals who end up in an unfamiliar environment, such as the suburbs of Los Angeles, often resort to their primal instincts, which is finding food. Bring your pet and their food indoors, especially at night. But there may be enticing coyote food in other, less obvious places. Try waiting until the morning of trash day to bring your barrel down to the curb. Think about any bird feeders or vegetable gardens. The less available food you have outdoors, the less likely you are to encounter a wild animal. And, if you do see one, remember to never approach it and, instead, get in contact with animal control.