Heat wave prompts more coyote sightings, Vista residents say

VISTA, Calif. -- The heat wave has brought some unwanted visitors close to some homes in one Vista neighborhood, residents say.

An animal control expert scoping out the 2300 block of Pod Drive spotted a number of recent coyote tracks. Neighbors told FOX 5 they have seen a high volume of coyotes since temperatures have risen and that the wild animals act unphased when they see people.

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One coyote, in particular, keeps returning after one woman's Schnauzer faced it a few days ago.

Resident Mike Fleming has had a similar sighting in his front yard at least two to three times a week.

"He's a big boy," Fleming said.

With two small dogs of his own, Fleming says he's worried. He said his cat was already taken about a year ago, and the coyotes seem to be getting more brazen.

A Pacific Coast Animal Control employee says a low food source and a lack of water are major factors.

"I'd say that heat definitely plays a factor in the movement of animals -- water holes dry up, looking for new water sources," Chris Vrabel said. "But there are also other factors, such as people with their pets outside during the day. Once coyotes have success getting an animal, a domestic animal in particular, they'll be back quite frequently."

Vrabel says that includes at odd hours, which is why some Vista residents have been seeing coyotes in the middle of the day. He recommends intimidating but not hurting them, because a hurt animal will only go after your pets as easy prey.