Wild coyotes are becoming a scourge in Mountain View's Waverly Park neighborhood. In recent days, neighbors say coyotes have mauled at least four house cats, and they believe the attacks could explain why several other pets have gone missing.
"Why is this happening all of a sudden?" said Gina Madigan, a Waverly Park resident for about 25 years. "This raises a lot of concerns for us because there's many people in our neighborhood who don't know this is going on."
Last month, Madigan found the remains of her cat in a neighbor's backyard. The attack was so brutal that she would have struggled to identify her cat if not for a microchip tag, she said. She is disturbed at the thought of the pain her cat must have endured.
The next day, a neighbor came across a coyote eating another cat. Since then, the neighborhood's Nextdoor page has exploded with comments on the attacks. Many neighbors believe the coyotes are likely coming from the Stevens Creek corridor, which runs adjacent to Waverly Park.
Incidents involving wild animals in Mountain View are handled by the Silicon Valley Animal Control Authority. Reached for comment, the SVACA could not immediately provide statistics on coyote incidents within the city. Throughout Santa Clara County, there have been 172 coyote-related public service requests since September 2017, according to Santa Clara County Vector Control.
Despite that number, coyote sightings are relatively common, especially during the late spring and summer, said Janet Alexander, SVACA's outreach manager. At this time of this year, the wild canines are raising their young and they need to scavenge or hunt for extra food, she said. Coyotes are omnivores, so everything from backyard fruit trees to open garbage cans can attract them to an area. The loss of open space habitat drives coyotes and other wild animals to push into human neighborhoods, she said.
"Unfortunately, some small pets and animals tend to be targeted by them," Alexander said. "If there's coyotes sightings in a particular neighborhood, people shouldn't be keeping their cats or dogs outside."