Two coyotes killed a domestic cat early Thursday in Redondo Beach and then evaded police and escaped towards the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
At 2:55 a.m. on September 12, Redondo Beach Police received a call from a resident on the 400 block of South Gertruda Avenue who witnessed two coyotes attack and kill a cat in his front yard. According to a neighborhood resident, the coyotes attacked a second cat but were fended off by a man wielding a baseball bat.
Five RBPD units of responded. According to Police Chief Joe Leonard, officers, both on foot and in vehicles, eventually spotted the coyotes at the 600 block of South Gertruda at 3:50 a.m.
The RBDP attempted to contact Los Angeles County Animal Control, with whom they have an after-hours contract. Redondo police told that the office did not handle this type of incident and were referred to Fish and Wildlife. Fish and Wildlife informed the RBPD that they only respond to this variety of incidents if there is a direct threat to human life. They were not swayed by the RBPD’s concerns about morning commuters.
Meanwhile, the officers continued to track the two coyotes. The animals split, with one heading east on Serpentine Street and the other heading south on Juanita Avenue.
“They followed one of them through Avenues A, B, C,” Leonardi said, “while the other coyote went a more direct route to Palos Verdes Boulevard.”
The animals finally evaded the officers and were last seen at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Palos Verdes Boulevard at approximately 4:30 a.m.
This is the second incident involving coyotes in Redondo in recent months. On the afternoon of July 11, a coyote was spotted by residents near 190th Street and North Paulina Avenue. It, too, evaded police and animal control officers.
“It is believed that the coyotes are extending their range from areas on the Palos Verdes Peninsula,” Leonardi said.
Kevin Brennan is a wildlife biologist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the radio station KPCC in May that he believes the coyote population is rapidly growing in Southern California.
“We can have populations that are anywhere from 12 to 20 times greater density in suburban settings than naturally occur in the wild,” Brennan told KPCC in May. “It’s kind of like measuring hay in haystacks or sand on the beach. But in California, we conservatively estimate that we have about half a million coyotes in the state. So, the coyote problem is here to stay with us. It’s just keeping it at a manageable level.”
Pet owners in areas where coyotes are active are urged to keep small animals inside and larger animals inside at night and to never leave pet food outside.