Saratoga: Traps Set to Battle Coyote Scare

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Vector control plans on having traps out for a few more weeks in Saratoga. George Kiriyama reports. (Published Monday, Jul 8, 2013)

    Coyotes. Not just one or two. But a pack of them

    "Quite loud at night," Tara Anderson, who lives on Oriole Road in Saratoga, said. "Especially when you're trying to sleep. You can hear them howling."

    Anderson and her neighbors say it's getting worse. A few weeks ago, a pack attacked her next door neighbor's chickens.

    "We just heard a bunch of clucking. The chickens were obviously afraid," Anderson said. "And then we heard a lot of running. And then we came out, we saw the coyotes running away with the chickens in their mouths."

    A few months ago, a coyote even attacked her cat in her backyard.

    "In the morning, my husband said what's that commotion in the backyard? I think it's a deer. We looked out there it was a deer and then there was a coyote that was walking around a tree. And I realized what he was doing was he was chasing my cat," Anderson said.

    Her cat lost a few claws but survived. The Santa Clara County Vector Control District says the coyotes are now starting to get used to being around people. And that's not good.

    "They were losing their fear or had lost their fear of humans," Russ Porman, Acting District Manager for Vector Control, said. "They had started to hunt during the daytime. They had started taking pets. They had started following people who were jogging or walking their dogs."

    The fear now is coyotes will start attacking people, especially children. That's why Vector Control has set up four box traps.

    "The coyote never stops being a coyote and they never stop being wild. They never stop being a predator. They just simply lose their fear," Porman said.

    Neighbors say they're afraid of what might happen to the children who live in the area.

    "It scares me. I don't want those little girls hurt down at the end of the street. I don't want people to be afraid to go outside  I know when I come out here at night to do yard work, I'm concerned," Anderson said.

    Vector Control says the traps will be out for a few more weeks. If no coyotes are caught it could mean they have left the area. And neighbors say they wouldn't mind that at all.