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Rancho Ortega Blog discusses matters of public interest in South Orange County, including the communities of San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Mission Viejo.

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Increased Coyote Sightings Result in Warnings for South County Residents

Due to an increase in the number of coyote sightings, South County residents are warned to keep pets (and small children!) safe:

Many cities around Orange County have seen higher numbers of the predators this season. Coyotes are found in all areas of the county. Contrary to popular belief, these animals do not require open space or “wild areas” to survive. In fact, most coyotes within the urban setting are the offspring of generations of coyotes that have lived and flourished in Orange County’s urban areas. To ensure the safety and welfare of residents and their pets, pet owners should remember the following tips:

* Never get friendly with coyotes.
* If followed by a coyote, make loud noises. If this fails, throw rocks in the animal’s direction.
* Do not leave small children or pets outside unattended.
* Do not allow cats outdoors to roam (day or night).
* Do not use a retractable leash – a leash should be no more than 6 feet. This allows you to be in control of your pet and ensures it’s close to you at all times.
* Trim ground-level shrubbery and clear brush near your home to reduce places where coyotes live and hide.
* Keep pet rabbits in suitable cages.
* Keep tight covers on all trash containers, and put trash out on collection day at the latest opportunity.
* Never leave water or pet food outside.
* Eliminate potential food and water sources, such as fallen fruit and standing water.
* Never feed coyotes.
* Never attempt to touch, pet or capture wildlife. These animals will bite to protect themselves.

Remember, coyotes are hunters seeking a food source. By nature, they are fearful of humans, but if coyotes have access to human food and garbage, their behavior changes and they can lose caution and fear. OC Animal Care will respond to situations regarding any wildlife that is sick, injured, dead or has had physical contact with a human or domestic animal.

For more information, call 949-249-5160 or visit

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