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A Pack Of Coyotes Concern Woodland Hills Residents As Pets Disappear

WOODLAND HILLS (CBSLA) — Coyotes have some Woodland Hills residents concerned as some of their pets have gone missing. 

"In the last year or so, we have seen packs of 5, 6- every single night they are howling. You just open the door, and you see them," said resident Nicole Banayan.

Banayan and other residents have caught a pack of four coyotes on video playing in the backyards of homes. While coyotes don't pose much of a threat to humans, they may stalk residents especially if seen with a dog. This has Banayan afraid to let her newborn baby and small dog out in their fenced backyard. 

"We sympathize with the coyotes being hungry and having their homes destroyed by fires, but at the same time we are worried for our safety," she said. 

According to experts, coyotes could follow people home, because they understand that where there are humans, there is food.

"They get drawn in by scents of pets, pet food and depending on what's available to them — from garbage to fruit and birdseed," said Lt. Kent Smirl of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

According to Smirl, the coyotes seen by residents are most-likely families. Coyotes are typically born in the spring and when they are six months old they begin foraging on their own.

"Oftentimes, the siblings will be out traveling together and they are looking for food on their own," added Smirl.

The coyotes could prey on smaller animals as David Tovissi, unfortunately, learned when one of his cats got out of the house and was snatched by a coyote.  

"Within a couple of minutes the cat was gone," Tovissi said. "It's a terrible thing. We try to protect these furry little loves."

Experts said that coyotes are typically nocturnal but can be found hunting at any time of the day. They can easily hope fences as well. 

For information on how to protect your pets and homes from coyotes visit the Wildlife Watch website here as well as the Keep Me Wild site.

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