Coyotes get bolder during virus pandemic

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. – As health orders ease, allowing people back into parks and on hiking trails, they are finding that wild animals have taken up residency.

People are reporting coyotes in places they used to avoid. In Cardiff, one was spotted coming out of a canyon and onto a residential street. And Chula Vista, a brazen coyote actually played a game of chase with three dogs in a park.

Brian Sardo was letting his dogs run around at a popular Chula Vista park when a coyote showed up.

“How brave he was with the dogs around. if you were walking your dog on a leash, a smaller dog, I think he’d be brave enough to snatch it right up from you,” Sardo said.

“I posted up in the shade with the dogs out and start letting the dogs run around, and then I noticed there were four down on field and I realized … that’s not a dog. That’s a coyote!”

This happened at 3 p.m. at Max Field in Loma Verde Park off Orange Avenue. It is a popular spot for kids and picnics, located near an urban canyon.

“I always get excited seeing wildlife when I’m out, but seeing them this close in an urban setting was a little awkward,” Sardo said. “And then to see him in the middle of the day was a little bit more awkward, and then coming after the dogs, and then even after the dogs chased him, he came right back.”

According to San Diego County Animal Control, there has been an uptick in wild animal reports since the parks were shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus.. In North County, there have been multiple coyote sightings in residential neighborhoods. And Sardo isn’t the only person to report the coyote at Loma Verde Park. People who frequent the park, said the coyote has been seen several times over the last two months.  

“He was 10 or 15 feet from me with three dogs,” Sardo said. “If it was one person and one small dog walking by, I have no doubt he would’ve probably tried to snatch that dog.” 

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