PETA: Mountain Lions, Coyotes and Bobcats—Oh, My!

The animal rights organization says that with a little "spring cleaning," Laguna Niguel can be safe and enjoyable for residents --and their animal companions.

With recent reports of   and  all seeming to enjoy the suburban life of Laguna Niguel, it's a good time for residents to do a little "spring cleaning" to make their homes less attractive to these wild animals.

Keeping these and many other species away is as easy as never feeding wildlife, making sure that all trash and compost are tightly sealed, and picking up fallen fruit. Swimming pools can attract thirsty animals, so keep pools covered when they are not in use.

Keeping bushes trimmed and grass short eliminates potential resting or hiding spots. And turning on outdoor lights or a radio can keep animals from coming any closer. Placing ammonia-soaked rags in dens or other places where animals have taken up residence will encourage them to leave. Keeping things tidy outdoors by moving wood piles and barbecues away from buildings and removing debris will also keep rodents, a major food source for coyotes and bobcats, away. If wild animals find your yard unappealing, they will move on. 

If they are hungry enough, wild animals may also prey on cats and dogs. Animal guardians should keep animals safe indoors and stay with them at all times when they do go outdoors. Walk dogs on short leashes. The smell of dog and cat food can attract wild animals, so it's best to keep it indoors.

Eliminating potential sources of food, water, and shelter is a better wildlife deterrent than hunting or trapping programs. As a  pointed out, "In spite of being hunted and trapped for more than 200 years, more coyotes exist today than when the U.S. Constitution was signed." After animals are hunted and killed, more animals move into the area, the remaining animals breed to replace pack members who have been killed, and cities end up with an endless, expensive kill cycle. "Leg-hold" traps (even ones that are padded) and snares mutilate animals' legs or paws, often cutting down to the bone, and frequently kill or injure nontarget animals like cats and dogs. Such harsh methods are not needed. With a little "spring cleaning," Laguna Niguel can be safe and enjoyable for residents and their animal companions.

Michelle Sherrow is a staff writer for the PETA Foundation, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; PETA.org.


Barton Mac Leod March 19, 2012 at 10:10 PM
When I shot these pictures of the Bobcat I wanted to pet the cub. However, the cub's parents could be close by....
Debbie L. Sklar March 19, 2012 at 11:24 PM
@Bart: Beautiful photos!
Linda April 26, 2012 at 03:39 PM
About three months ago, my cat kept pestering me to let her out early one morning. About 5:00,we heard her ferocious growl. We ran outside and there was a big cat in the back yard; it jumped on the fence - I clapped my hands to scare it off (thinking to myself...that's a BIG cat), and when it turned to jump down to the other side, I noticed it was a bobcat! Yikes! Needless to say, my kitty doesn't go out early in the morning without supervision! I had no idea that we had bobcats in the area!!! I live in Laguna Heights at Golden Lantern and Saint Christopher N.
Frieda Wales April 26, 2012 at 05:38 PM
Linda, I saw a bobcat walking the streets of Marina Hills near the Chaparrosa trails a few months ago.


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