Neighbors in Magnolia see a dramatic increase in missing pets and growing coyote population

Coyote sightings have seen a dramatic spike in Seattle. Magnolia residents have noticed their cats going missing. Experts said, unfortunately, some of those beloved pets may have had a run-in with a coyote.

“They’re wild animals. So, of course, they’re going to be looking for food,” said Alysa Reid.

Dog owners who walk through Discovery Park, and any park across Seattle, said they have to keep their heads on a swivel.

“There’s definitely coyotes trying to follow me. There’s two to three that are kind of roaming around,” said dog walker Remy Vanderput about the Arboretum. He added, “They’re interested. I have smaller dogs that I go with to the Arboretum and those are probably more of a snack for the coyotes. I just keep an eye out and be kind of loud.”

The Woodland Zoo Carnivore Spotter shows in the last two weeks Magnolia residents reported close to ten coyote sightings. The area reported so many sightings in the last year, the yellow sighting markers almost cover the map. Some people’s pets, that are let out unleashed, may not make it home.

“I have just walking my dogs come across the remains of two cats that coyotes killed in the same alley,” said Laura Prugh.

Prugh is an Associate Wildlife Professor at the University of Washington. She said their study that analyzes DNA found in coyote droppings that cats make up a sizable portion of coyotes’ diet. She also talked about a San Diego study, that tracked pets and found many came to a grim end.

“One out of every four was killed by a coyote. So we know that they can be a major source of mortality for cats in urban areas,” Prugh explained.

Experts said the best way to keep cats and other pets safe is to keep them inside. If they have to be let out unleashed, only allow it during the day.

“Coyotes can be active at any time of the day, but in urban areas, they tend to be most active at night. So that could help,” said Prugh.

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