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Sacramento neighborhoods shaken by series of coyote sightings

Sacramento neighborhoods shaken by series of coyote sightings
Sacramento neighborhoods shaken by series of coyote sightings 02:16

SACRAMENTO — Some people in Sacramento's Pocket and Greenhaven neighborhoods have been shaken by a series of coyote sightings.

"We just wanted it to be gone," said Jennifer Gibson, who lives in Sacramento. 

Animal Control Chief Jace Huggins said they have received a number of reports, "generally a lot of the calls we get are because people are startled to see a coyote."

But, he says coyotes are extremely adaptable to living in the city. One was even seen roaming the state capitol grounds in Downtown Sacramento.

Now, animal control officers are meeting with neighbors and teaching people techniques to scare away the unwanted wild animals.

They are called "coyote shakers" -- a simple scare tactic that anyone can make using items they already have at home. Huggins says you can use an empty can filled with beans or pennies, and duct tape. 

Give it a good rattle and it should drive away the unwanted urban wildlife.

"We use it to shake at the coyote which scares the coyote away because it's unusual noise," said Sacramento City Councilmember  Rick Jennings. 

Huggins says "when you start doing that, making loud noises the coyote, they're going to turn tail and go away"

Some people fear the coyotes will attack their pets or kids. Gibson has come face to face with a coyote on her street.  

"I'm concerned for my cat, he's an indoor-outdoor cat," said Gibson. 

He added, "I waved at it, said 'Get out of here, we don't want you around.' I wasn't mean. I just sort of made some noise and then the coyote was clearly like what the heck is going on here, took off in the other direction and we haven't seen it since"

The city says it often takes a group effort to shake things up - in this case, convincing coyotes to make a run for it-

"The neighborhood that the coyote is in has to work together to convince the coyote that that's not the best place to be," said Huggins. "So everybody who goes out on a walk has to carry their noisemaker, their coyote shakers."

Even though we've seen it happen in other cities, so far, there have been no local reports of coyotes having rabies or attacking people.

Animal control is also putting out a friendly reminder so you don't attract coyotes: close those trash can lids and bring the pet food inside.

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