Coyotes are usually thought of as desert-dwelling animals who live in Arizona or on Saturday morning cartoons. In reality, the smart dog-like predators are moving into suburban areas such as Westminster.
On Monday, according to Officer Van Woodson of the Westminster Police Department, authorities were notified that a pet cat had been killed by a coyote in the 6600 block of Bestel Avenue.
It’s not the first coyote sighting in Westminster, especially in the west end, which adjoins the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station and is close to the Bolsa Chica Wildlife Preserve. Both are known habitats for coyotes. Naturalists say that coyotes adapt very well to a variety of environments.
Residents are encouraged to take precautions to protect their pets from coyote attacks. Small pets such as cats or small dogs should be kept inside at night, and motion-sensor lights installed in yards.
Garbage cans should be tightly secured; some coyotes are scavengers, too. If you see a coyote, make loud noises to scare it away. Animal control officers with the WPD are also encouraging residents to carry air horns when walking their pets, the better to scare off the coyote.
All sightings should be reported to the WPD Animal Control Unit at (714) 548-3201.