SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — The Cambrian Park neighborhood in San Jose is dealing with countless coyote sightings and discovering their pets are going missing, but they’re learning all they can do is wait for the coyotes to move on.
“Once they know there’s a food source, they will stick in that area for a little while,” said Santa Clara County Vector Control Wildlife Specialist Peter Gotcher.
He said all it takes is one resident to leave out small animals, pet food or let the fruit on their trees fall to the ground for coyotes to know there is a food source in a neighborhood to keep coming back to.
That’s exactly what he believes the coyotes have found in the Cambrian Park area.
Since September, residents have reported at least two dozen coyote sightings as well as missing or dead cats. They’ve taken to neighborhood social media forum Nextdoor to share posts as well as videos and pictures of the coyotes.
Erin Rosenblum said she spotted a coyote with a cat in its mouth on Monday morning just after sunrise in her front yard.
Her home surveillance camera caught her yelling at the coyote to drop the cat and then running after it.
“I mean, they’re not after us, they’re after our pets, they’re hungry,” Rosenblum said. “I ran down the street, I chased it for a little bit, but it was shy enough to run away from me, but not scared enough to drop the cat.”
Gotcher said the coyotes are simply on the move right now after living along nearby Ross Creek.
“They were kind of using those as temporary den sites, but that kind of changed because the weather changed so their den sites have flooded out,” said Gotcher. “So looks like they’re probably going to be headed toward the hills a bit more.”
But he said on their way to the foothills of San Jose, if the coyotes find food in neighborhoods like fruit, pets, animals or pet food outside then they’re likely to linger.
“It’s a little unnerving, just because this is not the place I would expect to see it,” Rosenblum said.
If you spot a coyote in Santa Clara County, you can report it to the Santa Clara County Vector Control District.