West Seattle coyotes: Reader-report roundup, sightings to warnings

November 10, 2012 at 9:10 pm | In Coyotes, West Seattle news, Wildlife | 28 Comments

(November 2nd photo by Scott Painter)
That photo was taken at Camp Long about 400 feet north of the lodge, by the photographer’s estimate. But as you’ll see in this roundup of recent reports received from WSB readers, they don’t by any means limit themselves to parks and greenbelts. The photographs we receive tend to show them in those settings, but here’s one spotted on a neighborhood sidewalk:

Katina, who shared that photo, explained:

My family and I encountered this coyote at the intersection of Walnut Ave SW and SW Hinds (October 28th) at 10:30 am. It was clearly injured about the neck area. It was originally sitting in the middle to the street, but began to run as our car approached. It then slowed down and just stared at us before taking off down 40th Ave SW.

Seven more recent reports are ahead, starting with a pet owner who saw two coyotes make off with her cat:

Maggie sent this on Friday:

My cat was taken from my front porch by two coyotes (Thursday) night and left dead /eaten on my neighbor’s lawn. I saw them with my own eyes. We live on 52nd Avenue up on Genesee hill. Our porch is up several stairs; it was a bold move to get her there. We are not next to open space.

Please, please get the word out that it does not matter where you are located, if you are in West Seattle, your cat and/or small dog can be taken from your front door.

Get your pets in by dark. I wouldn’t wish this day on anyone and, unfortunately, it was avoidable.

Earlier on Friday, we had received this note from Meg, which might be related to Maggie’s story:

This morning there was a sighting of a large coyote on 52nd Ave. SW (between Andover & Dakota), on Genesee Hill. I can only assume that it came from Schmitz Park. Unfortunately, it had recently killed a neighborhood cat, leaving the remains on my neighbors’ front lawn. My husband and another neighbor actually saw the animal and both stated that it is a “large coyote”, standing at least knee-high. My husband compared it to our 60 pound cattle dog. I don’t know who the cat belongs to, but I do recognize it from the neighborhood. It was white, with large black spots and long fur. It was a decent sized cat, not small. I am very sorry for the family’s loss and for my neighbors unfortunate discovery (I was late for work, and simply covered the cat with a towel). . .

I don’t know if this is the right way to go about this, but I was hoping to get the word out. . . With the later darker hours, coyotes, raccoons, and possums will be active until the sun comes up. Neighbors need to be cautious when letting their smaller animals outside and even during early morning walks.

It’s a somewhat precarious world for the coyotes too. On Tuesday, we received an anonymous note titled “Coyote hit by a car,” including a photo of a coyote carcass strewn with flowers:

Rest in peace, Mr. Coyote, we will not miss you. Love, all the neighborhood pets you’ve eaten. This photo was taken at 35th Ave SW and 112th Place.

Also from Arbor Heights, Joanne e-mailed us today:

I spotted a coyote in my fenced back yard on Thursday morning at about 8 a.m. I live in the 3600 block of SW 107th. Just wanted to add that to the other sightings in the neighborhood.

Scott tweeted this today:


Laura reported a sighting last Sunday:

Two coyotes were seen at 3 am … at the corner of 49th & Hill Street in North Admiral. (I saw them at that early hour because they were growling outside my window and it woke me up!)

Also in Admiral, Cameron and her dog had this close encounter on November 1st:

At about 10:30 pm I let my mini-poodle out for her usual nightly “business.” She wandered over to the grassy lookout on the corner of SW Hill St and SW Walnut Ave. I took my eye off her for a minute to turn some lights off and clean up from the trick-or-treaters. When I glanced back over in her direction, I noticed an animal’s head peering out of the bushes about 15 feet from my dog. Thanks to the wonderful photography on the West Seattle Blog, I quickly recognized the large pointy ears and knew it was a coyote. I immediatetly sprinted toward the lookout and when I was close enough, the coyote disappeared back into the brambles. Phewww … I don’t doubt for a second the coyote’s intentions as I have seen the other reports listed on your blog.

I cherish the wild neighbors we have in West Seattle, but this animal is demonstrating aggressive behavior.

In case this is the first coyote report you’ve read here, we want to say it again – we don’t publish sightings to be alarmist, but instead, to be educational. We still hear from people who are surprised to hear about or see a coyote in their neighborhood; in five-plus years of sighting reports, we’ve had them from just about everywhere in West Seattle. So how do you encourage them to keep their distance, and what do you do when you see one? This information from the state is a must-read. Meantime, our past reports on coyotes are all archived here, newest to oldest.

28 Comments

  1. We heard them loud and clear last night at 49th and Admiral – making lots of noise. Maggie, I’m so sorry about your cat :(

    Comment by Traci — 9:19 pm November 10, 2012 #

  2. Maggie, so sorry for your loss.

    Comment by WsBoB — 9:54 pm November 10, 2012 #

  3. I thank you WSB for putting this on. It seems so often people do not believe me & I ask them to look at WSB. I know people that let their cats out and tell me that their cats are used to taking care of themselves outside or other reasons. One unfortunately found out the hard way & apologized. I have come across coyotes on walks in the morning & they sometimes are sitting in the bushes alongside the sidewalks as I have had them dash out & cross the street close to me. I make lots of noise to scare them when I see them. I will walk the dogs on the street side of the sidewalk so that they are not close to the bushes & not let them go too far out on leash – especially when it is hard to see with darkness. I thank you WSB for your continued effort to warn people. This is a valuable resource to help make people aware. Maggie, I too, am sorry for your loss. Help us spread the word about how to protect our furry friends. Thanks again WSB!

    Comment by Faith4 — 5:38 am November 11, 2012 #

  4. We saw some in our alley a few weeks ago, in between 39th and 40th near Morgan. Two of ‘em!

    Comment by Christy — 8:11 am November 11, 2012 #

  5. We saw some in our alley a few weeks ago, in between 39th and 40th near Morgan. Two of ‘em!

    Comment by Christy — 8:11 am November 11, 2012 #

  6. @Katina’s comment: “My family and I encountered this coyote at the intersection of Walnut Ave SW and SW Hinds (October 28th) at 10:30 am. It was clearly injured about the neck area.”
    .
    I think I saw this same coyote around the same date on 33rd & Spokane. I followed it down the street in my car before it ran into my neighbor’s front yard, where it stayed until I parked my car and yelled at it. It took awhile but it finally ran off down to the lower green belt. It definitely wasn’t afraid of me…so unnerving!

    Comment by sun*e — 9:05 am November 11, 2012 #

  7. GEEZ!

    “Unnerving”… my goodness what do you think it was to the “injured” Coyote?!

    Keep your pets (cats) inside or (dogs) on a leash!

    Comment by ltmmgm — 10:45 am November 11, 2012 #

  8. So sorry to hear about the cat. WSB, I really appreciate you covering this issue. I think these periodic reminders are very important for keeping us alert.

    Comment by West Seattle luv — 10:55 am November 11, 2012 #

  9. Sorry for everyone’s loss but how many years does it need to be reported here that we live amongst lots of wild life and to keep your small pets inside. At least once a month we hear the screams of someone’s cat being eaten by a coyote! They are city born Coyotes and can’t grocery shop to get their food, what do you expect them to do for food but hunt and if your small pet is unattended it will be a meal. Still amazed at how shocked everyone is everytime they see a coyote!

    Comment by SillyGoose — 11:17 am November 11, 2012 #

  10. Glad to hear we still have wildlife in the nieghborhood. To the pet owners out there- you have a responsibility to keep them safe. Coyotes are just trying to survive and they will take a pet if its easier prey. If you have an outdoor cat, then you accept the risk of it being eaten. Domestic cats certainly have taken their toll on songbirds and small mammals. I keep my small pets inside and make sure I’m out with them when they are out. BTW- coyotes almost never attack humans, unless provoked or have been conditioned to not be fearful which is typical when humans feed them.

    Comment by CRJ — 12:13 pm November 11, 2012 #

  11. It saddens me whenever I read another pet has been killed by a coyote. Wild animals go where the food is. You are seeing them in neighborhoods because they know there are easy pickings around. Just as we put lids on garbage cans to deter rodents and raccoons, if we keep a watchful eye on our pets or keep them indoors, the coyotes will have little reason to poke around our homes.

    Comment by CJ — 12:30 pm November 11, 2012 #

  12. It’s so sad to lose a pet & I’m very sorry for your loss, but don’t be mad at coyotes for following their natural instincts. Keep your pets indoors.

    Comment by Crystal — 2:48 pm November 11, 2012 #

  13. Just a reminder to keep your cats in if at all possible. Seems like lots of coyotes on the prowl.

    Comment by natinstl — 3:23 pm November 11, 2012 #

  14. DITTO with SillyGoose and CJ

    Comment by Rainydays — 3:40 pm November 11, 2012 #

  15. I saw a coyote on othello and just east of california ave sw on Monday 11-5. Small and gray and perfectly still. right around 2:15 pm

    Comment by janis jerochim — 4:20 pm November 11, 2012 #

  16. Haven’t seen one yet on my street(near Sealth) , but I’m sure they’ve been by. Hubby takes our leashed little dog out for business about 3:30am, some mornings she will only do half her business and scamper back up on the porch with hubby in tow. She knows the difference between the daily raccoon/possum smells and the scent of the coyote. A lot of our neighbors have cooped chickens, but that too is so very enticing for a wild critter.

    Comment by candy98126 — 4:45 pm November 11, 2012 #

  17. About the coyote that Katrina said looked injured. It may have been a coyote with mange. My husband saw one in our backyard a couple of weeks ago. It had lost so much fur from mange that it almost wasn’t recognizable as a coyote. Some Internet research on coyotes with mange said that it’s very contagious and becomes a problem when there is an over-population of coyotes. If the loss of fur becomes bad enough, they die of exposure.

    Comment by Kath — 5:04 pm November 11, 2012 #

  18. I’ve seen coyotes during the day and night-they’re out at all hours. Keep your cats indoors. That solves the problem with them being eaten. It’s pretty simple.

    Comment by JH — 5:07 pm November 11, 2012 #

  19. Thanks for the info… New to area, and had no idea coyotes here..thnkx for useful info

    Comment by Rves — 5:22 pm November 11, 2012 #

  20. AAAAAUUUGH!!!! Keep your cats indoors – coyotes are out and about during the day and it is NOT SAFE to let your pets outside!!!! Period.

    Comment by MMB — 6:42 pm November 11, 2012 #

  21. A bit untenable that advice to “keep your pets indoors” all the time. I let my rabbits outside in my fenced back yard every once in a while for a romp, but now in addition to the eagles, I worry about coyotes – even during the day. Pets have just as much right to be outside on their owner’s private property as non-native wild animals have a right to roam. Love the coyotes; annoyed by the glib “keep your pet inside” remarks. It’s a problem for folks.

    Comment by sgs — 7:39 pm November 11, 2012 #

  22. sgs: they do have that right. They also have the right to be eaten if you don’t protect them. Wild animals aren’t going to reason with you. They don’t care who has a “right” and who doesn’t. Also, “non-native”…?

    If you have a pet – it’s your responsibility to take care of it. When your pet has to be outside, keep it leashed or in an enclosure in which you have complete control. No one is being glib, we’re just saying to show some responsibility.

    And p.s. – I too have rabbits, and rabbits are indoor pets.

    Comment by Chris — 8:51 pm November 11, 2012 #

  23. I wish my neighbor would heed this advice. They have 5 cats that they let roam the neighborhood all day–as evidenced by the fact that they think my garden beds are their litter box. I would hate for one of their cats to get eaten, but it would serve them right for being completely irresponsible pet owners.

    Comment by sb2780 — 10:28 pm November 11, 2012 #

  24. Well, no, it wouldn’t “serve them” anything, it would be the cat’s demise. Much like our rules for crime stories – no victim-blaming – let’s please stop piling on the cat owners. The person in this story reported it in hopes others could be helped. We keep publishing coyote sightings in hopes more people will understand, they are everywhere – though we have to say again, they are by no means the only threat to outdoor cats; raccoons kill cats, car crashes kill cats, cruel humans kill cats. If anyone is thinking about converting their outdoor cat to a safe indoor life, the experts say it CAN be done – here’s one example of advice:
    .
    http://www.petfinder.com/pet-care/transitioning-outdoor-cat.html
    .
    Our friends at West Seattle-based Furry Faces Foundation also are experts on the “outdoor enclosure” mentioned in the story. Our condolences to those who have lost pets, whatever the circumstances … TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:12 pm November 11, 2012 #

  25. We live in the Highland Park, 14th and Cloverdale SW. there is a large(about 40lbs.) coyote that has taken residence in a vacant lot near us. My wife and I have seen him dozens of times when we are walking out dog, when he see us he hides in the brush. He looks well fed and will roam during the day, I see him in my neighbors yard all the time. Keep an eye on all small pets!

    Comment by Scott Anderson — 7:45 am November 12, 2012 #

  26. Note to Cameron in Admiral: It’s not “aggressive” if a coyote is hunting small animals (even if they are pets) when no humans are around — that’s actually called “instinct.” Aggressive would be if you were walking your dog on a leash and a coyote attacked it. Coyotes have no way to distinguish between, say, vermin like a rat, and your pet cat — they just know that both are delicious. WAKE UP, PEOPLE! If you let your animals wander around unprotected, they will get eaten! It’s nature!!

    Comment by Peeb — 11:20 am November 12, 2012 #

  27. I also live in Highland Park and saw the 14th Ave. coyote in his usual place as I drove to work this morning at 7:15 a.m. Hadn’t seen him in a week and thought maybe he’d moved on. There is a large white and gray cat in the area that is always outside hunting birds and mice. He must be so tough even the coyote doesn’t mess with him.

    Comment by Highland Park Paula — 12:33 pm November 12, 2012 #

  28. I just moved to this area a couple months ago and have a cat who used to be outdoors and loved it, I kept him inside at first as advised, so that he wouldn’t get lost by trying to find his way back to our old home. I’ve been wanting to let him back out gradually, but have been fearful since I did see a coyote near our home on the sidewalk recently. I wasn’t sure just how many there were in this area, but now I know! So thanks to wsb for continuing to post about this, not everyone on here has seen previous posts! I think my cat will stay an indoor cat… I feel bad for him, but better than losing his life to a coyote!

    Comment by sarahw — 8:40 pm November 12, 2012 #

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