West Seattle coyotes: A warning, a sighting, and reminders

Haven’t received many sighting reports lately, but that doesn’t mean coyotes aren’t out there. It may actually mean people are doing a better job of encouraging them to keep their distance, by not leaving out food, or trying to spook them when spotted. Outdoor pets remain at risk, as evidenced by a sad (and slightly graphic) note just received from Clay, one of two reports ahead:

From Clay:

Last night we lost our cat to what we believe was a Coyote. (The cat was not hit by a car, rather it was strategically eaten at from the center with a rip in the neck.) We found our cat, beloved “Mr. Piggles,” on the sidewalk near our home on 44th near Director in the Fauntleroy area [map]. There are Coyotes in the Ravine near our home over by the Fauntleroy YMCA, so perhaps send a reminder out to folks to remind them of their presence and to keep their pets in after dark as breeding season appears to be on.

They come out in the daytime too, as you can see if you browse the WSB archive of sighting reports. We also had one in queue from Jacqueline, who saw a coyote a little over a week ago, early in the morning:

5:45 am at Kenyon and 31st. Spooked him/her as I was walking two dogs at a blind corner. Coyote ran about 50 feet away and stopped. We stopped and watched him/her for a few minutes while it watched us. Approximately 24 inches tall, very lean, approximately 30 – 36″ long.

As always, we refer you to the state Fish and Wildlife Department‘s “Living With Coyotes” infopage, including the advice about what to do if you have a close encounter – don’t just stand there and gawk, actively scare it away, by yelling, waving your arms, even throwing rocks. The warier they are of humans, the better chance they’ll keep their distance.

13 Replies to "West Seattle coyotes: A warning, a sighting, and reminders"

  • jwws September 4, 2011 (12:58 pm)


    So sorry to hear this. What a sad ending to such a wonderful night at the “Cat House” – our thoughts are with you!

    Jane, Tom, Gus and Molly

  • BobL September 4, 2011 (1:36 pm)

    We heard two “coyote concerts” from Schmitz Park yesterday afternoon as they answered sirens from emergency vehicles with a chorus of yipping and howling that lasted for minutes. It is difficult to tell how many animals participated, but it was many.

  • CraigH September 4, 2011 (3:29 pm)

    My condolences, Clay. We also just heard from a neighbor that our Kofte (reported missing on the Pets page on Tues) appears to have been gotten by a coyote, though there wasn’t much left by the time we heard so we couldn’t/didn’t have to verify it was her (for which I admit I am somewhat grateful).

  • LindaG September 4, 2011 (4:32 pm)

    So sad to lose a pet, especially like that. Our neighbor spotted two coyotes on our block at 37th and Charlestown at about 5AM a couple days ago. There was also a partial cat carcass seen a few blocks away from us. We’re keeping our cat inside as much as possible (although he’s quite miffed about it).

  • Westbird September 4, 2011 (7:53 pm)

    RIP Mr. Piggles- You were a beautiful kitty and are still loved by all-

  • Aaron September 4, 2011 (8:48 pm)

    Same goes for raccoons. @ 5:30 this morning my dog chased a fat racoon off our porch (where we used to keep the dry dog food). I’m in the Morgan Junction, but I’ve seen them from Admiral to Endoline on my morning runs.

  • liveherenow September 5, 2011 (12:16 am)

    So sorry to those who have lost their pets. When I first moved to Seattle in 2003 my roommates lost their very feisty and large cat to a coyote. We lived in North Admiral adjacent to a ravine and had no idea that there were coyotes until seeing one walk down our street early one morning. It is very sad to lose a pet, but coyotes were here for thousands of years and long before we moved into their home. Use common sense and understand that as much as we are in a major metropolitan area, we still live alongside wild animals who are looking for food, which in some cases are our domesticated pets.

  • sydney September 6, 2011 (6:54 am)

    I believe my Dasher was coyote bait as well, just a couple of weekends ago. We had only just been telling each other the cats needed to stay inside at night, but she ‘dashed’ one too many times…

    then last week we were driving at 4:45 a.m. north on 35th at the top of the golf course and saw a coyote cross to the west.

  • JoAnne September 6, 2011 (8:09 am)

    From what I’ve read, late summer/fall is an especially dangerous time. Coyotes breed in spring, so by late summer the pups are eating meat, are larger with greater food needs, and are big enough to join parents on the hunt.

  • enviromaven September 7, 2011 (11:22 am)

    I watched two adolescent coyotes romping in the park at High Point across from the Guadalupe construction sight last night. They were wary and took off when they saw me. Their numbers really seem to be up lately – as much as I love the wildlife in WS, I fear there are too many of them to maintain a safe balance in an urban area.

  • Beverly September 9, 2011 (3:04 pm)

    I am sorry to read about so many lost cats and am afraid that we need to add our Ricky to the those cats lost to coyotes. He was not a cat to be kept inside. I think that’s the hard part for cat owners, cats don’t always cooperate with what we would like them to do. The city says the management of wildlife is to keep domestic pets inside, but then the city says mosquito management consists of not going outside (in the summer) when mosquitoes are present????

  • Adam September 10, 2011 (11:23 pm)

    At 11:52pm on the night of 9/9/11, we saw two adult coyotes walking north on 31st Ave SW towards SW Othello St. They were walking down the middle of the street. We had just pulled up and were sitting in our car. They were clearly scavenging, darting in and out of each front yard along the west side of the street. We watched them get a little closer to our car. It was clear they knew we were there, but were not at all afraid. Having a bad feeling about that, I got out of the car and tried to spook them by yelling and clapping my hands. At first they were not at all phased. I did it for another 30 seconds or so and finally they went between two houses. We waited a bit and then saw them walking west on SW Webster St. The animals appeared to have very healthy coats, unlike coyotes I have seen in rural areas, and had giant ears. It was sad to have to yell at them, but also erie that they were not afraid of us. We were very glad to get home in the nick of time to put our cat inside who had crossed the street to our bushes 30 seconds before. I recommend yelling, throwing rocks, and waving your hands until the coyotes run away. It is not fun to have to do that, but it’s better for all parties if coyotes are afraid of humans. So so sorry to everyone who recently lost their kitty cats.

  • babalou September 14, 2011 (6:32 pm)

    SOmeone is taking down signs I’ve put up warning of coyotes eating pets. On the light pole where one has been taken down, a new lost pet sign goes up.Those lost pet signs stay forever. Because those pets are not coming back.I know the coyotes have their fans, but where are the animal rescue groups on this? Why no effort at coyote relocation? I thought cats and dogs had their champions in West Seattle. There aren’t any lost pets to find. Keep them in doors or loose them.

Sorry, comment time is over.