LAGUNA WOODS (CBS) — Residents at an Orange County retirement community are on edge as aggressive coyotes have reportedly been attacking animals in the area, and even humans.
Animal services told KCAL9 that the problem is worse than they first thought. At least three coyotes have been spotted, and as officers set traps, residents are taking matters into their own hands.
Ever since Bill Azoff spotted a coyote outside his Laguna Woods neighborhood two days ago, he won't walk his beloved pug without a golf club in tow.
"It'll make me feel better, I feel more secure," he said.
Laguna Beach Animal Services say a male coyote weighing about 50 pounds bit an elderly resident on the hand earlier in the week as she tried to save her small dog from the animal's grip. The dog, however, didn't survive.
"When people's pets are attacked, that's very traumatic for the individual," said Jim Beres, spokesman for Animal Services. "We're especially concerned when people get bit."
Authorities said the coyotes have killed five cats and one dog. They've posted fliers around the community warning residents, and telling them they should carry air horns to ward the coyotes off.
On Thursday they set traps throughout the community, and warned residents of a $500 fine if they tamper with them.
Officers said the sightings are not just happening at night, but during all hours of the day.
If the traps work and catch the coyotes, officials said the animals will be examined and then rereleased into the wild, far away from the terrified neighborhood.
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