Snoqualmie’s strong uptick in calls to police about coyotes carousing in Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhoods started to decline about the middle of last week, says Snoqualmie Police Captain Nick Almquist going from multiple calls each day to a two-day lull in calls.
The calls were prompted both by the police department’s press release advising residents to call in any bear or coyote sighting, and by a Nov. 30 incident involving a 4 year-Snoqualmie girl, who was scratched by a coyote while she was on her own front porch.
She was not seriously injured, but her coat was torn and the animal left a mark on the girl’s shoulder.
Almquist described the event, saying the girl and an older brother were out at around 6 .m. on their porch, on SE Swenson Street, when they noticed a “doggie” in the neighborhood. The father, hanging Christmas lights, said he told the children to stay on the porch.
“Then he heard a sort of scuffle and saw the coyote had come up on the porch and pounced on the little girl, so he chased it away,” Almquist said.
Another caller reported what was likely the same animal, in the same area near the same time, which took an aggressive stance at the caller and her daughter as they walked in the neighborhood. They left the area without incident.
These reports prompted the city of Snoqualmie to send out information to residents on how to prevent coyote encounters and to report any sightings of bears or coyotes to police. However, Almquist amended that request to specify sightings of animals in neighborhoods, behaving as if they are not afraid of humans.
Almquist also noted that the area’s rabbit population, a common prey animals for coyotes, is high right now which could be contributing to increased coyote activity.
To help avoid bears and coyotes from visiting neighborhoods, residents are urged to manage their garbage, so itdoesn’t become a food source for wild animals. Also, feed pets indoors, and prevent the buildup of fallen food under bird feeders.
Don’t leave your garbage out on non-collection days. Keep garbage cans with tight-fitting lids in a shed, garage, or fenced area. Spray garbage cans and dumpsters regularly with disinfectants to reduce odors. Keep fish and meat waste in your freezer until trash collection day.