Laguna Beach animal control officers continued to patrol Laguna Woods, tracking a pair of elusive, but aggressive coyotes that knocked over a resident while seizing her leashed pet Yorkie this week.
Police continued to receive calls from residents about coyote sightings after the incident Tuesday, but the suspected culprits eluded pursuers and traps laid to capture the predators, Lt. Jason Kravetz said Wednesday. The unidentified woman was treated for minor injuries that did not require hospitalization, he said.
In recent months, coyotes have seized several other pets of Laguna Woods’ residents and there have been an unusual number of sightings, Kravetz said.
The season’s 30-inches of rainfall produced bountiful plant life and an abundance of prey such as rabbits, snakes and mice, which in turn leads to larger litters of predators, said Barbara Norton, supervising ranger of the 7,000-acre Laguna Coast Wilderness Park. The county park borders several cities, including Laguna Woods, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach and Irvine. “We have coyotes in the park, but none that have been aggressive,” Norton said. “Coyotes are opportunists,” she continued. “They are omnivores. If you make it easy for them, they take advantage of it.”
The most recent dog-snatching in Laguna Woods occurred more than three miles from the park’s eastern border. Animal control officers have issued caution flyers to Laguna Woods residents warning them against feeding coyotes and leaving pet food outside for domesticated animals that serves as a lure to wildlife, Kravetz said.
The daylight attack occurred as the pet owner was walking her dog on Via Alhambra street where she was confronted by two coyotes, who were last seen running from the area with her Yorkie, Kravetz said. Coyotes have also been seen on Los Altos, Alta Via and Seville streets in Laguna Woods, he said.