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Student Affairs  /  Campus Announcements  /  Coyotes on Campus

Coyotes on Campus

June 7, 2024

Caltech Security has recorded a recent increase in calls concerning coyote sightings on or near campus.

Coyotes are native to our region and have always had a presence in the city, but the city and its residents have seen a growth in the population and expansion in their roaming range in the last several years. Residential areas provide habitat (food, water, shelter, and space) for coyotes, and urban coyotes have also learned to take advantage of the ample human-associated foods, such as garbage, pet food, birdseed, and compost piles. Furthermore, shelter and water can be found in parks, yards, and natural areas.

While Coyotes are generally harmless, there have been some reports of conflicts, and we ask that all members of the Caltech community remain aware of their surroundings, maintain a distance from wild animals, and exercise caution. If you are on or near campus and feel threatened, call Caltech Security at 626-395-5000 (Ext. 5000) and then get to safety.

To help keep our community members and their pets safe we would like to recommend the following safety tips.

Tips for Managing Coyote & Wildlife Problems:

  • If a coyote is encountered, scare it away by yelling, stomping your feet and waving your arms, and/or throwing rocks or other objects towards (but not at) the coyote. It is important to stand your ground and to maintain a coyote's natural fear of humans.
  • Don't leave small children or animals unattended where coyotes frequent.
  • Never feed coyotes or provide them with water.
  • Don't give coyotes access to garbage. Keep trash lids on tight and don't put trash cans out until the morning of pick-up so coyotes and other wildlife will have less time to scavenge and won't have the cover of darkness. Wildlife is most active in the spring and summer, and especially at night or twilight.
  • Prevent access to fruit and compost. Pick up fallen fruit and keep compost piles securely covered. Cover new compost with soil or lime to prevent it from smelling and never include animal feces.
  • If possible, feed dogs and cats indoors. Don't feed feral (wild) cats. Coyotes prey on them and will be attracted by food you leave out for them.
  • Prevent the buildup of food under bird feeders.
  • Keep cats and small to medium-size dogs indoors, especially from dusk to dawn. If you suspect losing a pet to a coyote or other animal, notify your neighbors. Coyotes are known to hunt in the same area.
  • Prune shrubs and trees several feet above the ground; clear brush and weeds to deprive rodents of shelter and reduce protective cover for wildlife.
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
  • Trim ground-level shrubbery to reduce hiding places.
  • Be aware that coyotes are more active in the spring, when feeding and protecting their young.
  • Coyotes are generally most active during dusk, dawn, and at nighttime.
  • If a coyote attacks a person or a pet, immediately contact the nearest Department of Fish and Game or law enforcement office.

The coyote's range covers the entire state of California. Most conflicts occur along borders between urban and wild areas.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife – South Coast Region

(858) 467-4201

Pasadena Humane Society

(626) 792-7151