Local

February 8, 2013

Base residents play biggest role in protecting pets from predators

Tags:
Gary Hatch
412th Test Wing Public Affairs

A coyote pauses near a sidewalk on main base. Desert predators like coyotes and bobcats can be seen all over the base, including the housing areas. Residents need to be aware of the risks these predators pose and take precautions to protect their pets.

Base residents reported that a family pet – a small dog – was attacked by a coyote and taken from the back yard of a home in base housing Jan. 20.

It is the first reported attack by a predator on a family pet in more than a year, biologists say, but it is also a demonstration of the stark reality that desert predators will attack family pets if they have the opportunity.

Given this reality, base residents need to take every precaution to ensure the safety of their pets.

Security Forces wildlife officers have stepped up efforts around housing areas to scare and chase away predators like coyotes and bobcats whenever possible. These actions will help, but will likely have limited effect in reducing the threat of predators on family pets.

Residents play the largest role in ensuring the safety of pets, said Mark Bratton, a contract biologist from Environmental Management.

“Desert predators like coyotes and bobcats have a natural wariness of humans, but that wariness can go away if the animals begin to associate humans with food, water and shelter – the things they need to survive,” Bratton said.

“We really need people to look at their yards and eliminate all sources of food, water and shelter for wild animals of all types. Feeding the smaller animals will bring the predators.”

Base biologists offer the following suggestions to residents to discourage coyotes, bobcats or other wild animals:

  • Do not leave pets outside and unattended. Small pets are in greater danger of attack, but even large dogs have been attacked by desert predators. This is even more crucial at night.
  • Eliminate all potential food sources. Never put pet food or water outside. It attracts hungry predators and other animals.
  • When trash is not being collected, secure garbage cans so they cannot easily be knocked over or rummaged through. Use rope or elastic cord to secure the can to a fence or other immovable object and use one to keep the container closed. Try to put garbage out just before it is collected.
  • Never intentionally feed a wild animal of any kind. The cute, fluffy animals that seem to pose no harm will come for the food and attract predators. Even for residents who don’t have pets, feeding wild animals of any kind could bring a death sentence to the family pets of their neighbors.
  • Trim bushes and shrubs to minimize hiding places or shady spots.

“There will always be some contact between humans and the wild animals in the desert,” Bratton said. “But we need to do all we can do to discourage them from lingering.”

“Eliminating food, water and shady areas around your home will discourage a coyote or bobcat from hanging around,” Bratton said. “The less comfortable they feel around us, the better. We want them to maintain their wariness of humans.”

Coyotes and bobcats do not usually pose a danger to people. The animals will, however, protect their young or a fresh kill and will defend themselves if they feel trapped.

Anyone who encounters a coyote or bobcat in one of the housing areas should keep the following tips in mind:

  • Do not panic or run.
  • Stand up straight and make yourself appear tall and large.
  • Be careful not to corner the animal.
  • Turn your body sideways and slowly walk away from the animal.

If a wild animal seems to be aggressive or is harassing pets and will not leave the area, call the base’s law enforcement desk at (661) 227-3340 or the wildlife section at (661) 810-7896. Other concerns and biological questions may be referred to Environmental Management at (661) 277-1401.

More information about coyotes can be found on the California Department of Fish and Game Web site at www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/coyote.html.

More information about bobcats can be found on the Arizona Fish and Game Department website at www.azgfd.gov/w_c/urban_bobcat.shtml.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs July 2, 2015

Freedom Fest Freedom Fest is 4:30-9:30 p.m., July 4 at Wings and Roberts Fields. Event highlights include fireworks, Euro Bungee, 25-foot tidal wave water slide, eight pony carousel, balloon artists, 25′ gondola ferris wheel, Rockin’ Tubs Ride, double swing chair ride, Timberland Wrecking Ball, inflatable Slip & Slide and laser tag. All rides and entertainment...
 
 
afmc-cc-message

Be proud of your role this Independence Day

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, starting the colonies on the path to freedom. The next day, John Adams wrote to his wife, describing the time as “the most memorable epoc...
 
 
tw-cc-message

Happy Fourth of July!

Team, This Independence Day weekend, we celebrate the day our great nation declared independence for the original 13 colonies and thus the birth of the United States of America. The Declaration of Independence is the nationR...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara

AFMC commander talks resilience, future of command

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Gen. Ellen M. Pawlikowski, Air Force Materiel Command commander, addresses Team Edwards during a commander’s call in the base theater June 19. Pawlikowski offered insight into the Air Fo...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Seminar provides expert advice for smart home buying

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The Housing Management Office offered a free Home Buyer’s Seminar June 17, at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Whether you are a first-time home buyer or looking to purchase an inv...
 
 
summer-safety

Summertime fire safety

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Summer is upon us! This means lots of fun with family and friends. At the Edwards AFB Fire Department we want your summer to be fun, memorable and safe. Here are a few tips to help keep you...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>