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    Living with Wildlife in Santa Monica

    Bulletin# P-11-008
    October 17, 2011 

    Part of Santa Monica’s beauty comes from its proximity to the Santa Monica Mountains, an area that is abundant with wildlife.  Many species of wild animals have managed to adapt and develop in our urban environment.  The presence of squirrels, possums, and raccoons in many neighborhoods is not uncommon, and in some cases, these species are surprising plentiful.   

     Another animal which has been more frequently sighted in the last several months is the coyote.  Since January 1, 2011, there have been approximately 14 reported sightings within the city limits.  On at least 2 occasions, coyotes are suspected in the deaths of two cats. 

    Most wildlife encountered within in Santa Monica pose little threat to humans as they have a natural fear of people and are not comfortable in unnatural surroundings.  However, urban development, water and food shortages combined with the abundance of food sources within the city, have helped animals such as the coyote to wander out from their natural habitat and further into the city, typically during the late evening and early morning hours. 

    Based on the more frequent sightings of coyotes, it is important to understand the behaviors and be aware of how to interact with a coyote in the event of contact with wildlife in your neighborhood.   

    The Santa Monica Police Department offers a reference guide with tips on how to coexist with local wildlife.  Anyone with questions or concerns may contact the Santa Monica Police Department’s Animal Control Unit at 310.458.8495 

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    333 Olympic Drive, P.O. Box 2200 Santa Monica, CA 90401 • 310.395.9931 • police@smgov.net