Where once you might have only hoped for a glimpse of a wild animal out on a trail or in the wilderness, wildlife (including large predators) have become more prevalent in urban and developed areas. As populations grow and cities expand, wildlife such as rattlesnakes, bobcats, and coyotes, are adapting and learning to survive among us.

Here in Monrovia, we’ve heard numerous reports of bobcats, bears, coyotes, and even mountain lions wandering down from the foothills and into backyards. At Huntington Veterinary Hospital, the health and safety of all animals is our highest priority. Keep reading to learn more about wildlife awareness and what precautions you can take to protect your furry best friend.

The Basics of Urban Wildlife Awareness

Although you may never consider yourself the “outdoor type,” the fact remains that wild animals show up in our communities in even the largest cities across North America. Knowing which animals are present in your area is important, especially to protect your pets.

For information about our area, check out the City of Monrovia’s Living With Wildlife page and the website of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Both sites have resources pertaining to wildlife safety, as well as how you can report the presence of a wild animal in your neighborhood.

Wildlife awareness also includes:

  • Bringing all pets indoors when they’re not being supervised, especially at night
  • Investing in wildlife-proof trash bins or storing garbage cans in a garage until the morning of trash collection
  • Installing perimeter fencing around the yard
  • Feeding your pet inside only
  • Avoiding walking your dog after dark and using a leash at all times
  • Putting away bird feeders, which can attract many other critters along with birds

Encountering a Wild Animal

In the event you happen to see a wild animal when out with your pet, here are some safety measures you can take for everyone’s protection:

  • Give the animal plenty of room to get away. Slowly walk backwards with your pet by your side or, if possible, in your arms.
  • Coyotes are shy but can be curious. If a coyote is following you, wave your arms to appear large and shout “back” or “no.”
  • Do not let your dog bark at or attempt to chase after the animal, as this will often escalate into an attack.
  • If you encounter a bear, bobcat, or cougar, use a similar tactic as you would with a coyote: make yourself appear large by waving your arms and shouting. You can use an air horn, if you have one. Do not turn your back to the animal, but rather back up slowly with your pet and seek the nearest shelter.
  • Call Animal Control or Fish and Wildlife to file a report if the animal happens to be a larger predator, is behaving strangely, or is frequenting the neighborhood.

Most of the time, wildlife want to avoid us as much as we want to avoid them. However, given the continued development of communities into former habitat, life with certain species is unavoidable. For your safety, your pet’s safety, and the protection of local wildlife, get to know more about these species and how to avoid problematic encounters.

For more information and to ensure your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date, please phone our team.