TORRANCE, Calif. (KABC) --Police in Torrance are warning about a rise in sightings of and attacks by coyotes and cautioning residents to keep a close eye on pets and small children outdoors.
Cindy Mitchell said her 2-year-old Chihuahua mix was viciously attacked by a coyote in her Torrance backyard recently. About two weeks ago she heard Capote screaming like he never had before. She ran out to look and he was laying on the tile, bleeding profusely.
Mitchell noted her backyard fence is six feet high and she keeps her gate locked.
"We had no idea they could jump a gate or a fence that high, and actually get this close to an area where people are this concentrated, and attack an animal," Mitchell said.
Torrance police Sgt. Paul Kranke said the department has been getting more coyote calls from residents recently, especially in the morning hours.
Hunger and thirst driven by the drought may be making the coyotes bolder in their search for food, officials said. Also this is the end of mating season and there will soon be more litters of young pups and their parents looking for food.
Kranke cautioned residents to not leave food outside and don't leave pets or small children unattended in backyards, even with high fences. He also suggested pet owners not walk their animals in the early morning hours when coyotes are more likely to be around.