Why are coyote sightings spiking in Tacoma and elsewhere?

TACOMA – This time of year people all around King and Pierce counties are reporting seeing more coyotes.

“There’s 211 members as of now,” said Ana Sierra who started the “Tacoma Coyotes” Facebook group a week ago. “They’re sharing pictures and questions,” said Sierra.

She says after talks with neighbors revealed she’s not the only one who has seen coyotes in the north end of Tacoma, she decided starting a page would help people share sighting information to keep the neighborhood on alert.

“I’ve lived in Tacoma for 20 years. We’re experiencing definitely more activity,” said Sierra.

She says she ran into a coyote last week in broad daylight while walking her dog.

“And then we turned and there was the coyote just enjoying the sun,” said Sierra.

The department of Fish and Wildlife says coyotes are all around us, in urban and suburban neighborhoods and we just have to get used to living with them.

“They’re extremely adaptable. They move around and they’re here to stay,” said Kim Chandler with the department of Fish and Wildlife.

He says coyotes rarely attack people but that he’s heard from residents in Bellevue and Tacoma about the spike in sightings.

Sierra says the University of Puget sound area has especially seen lots of coyotes and she says people shared it keeps them up at night.

“They told me it’s like a party from midnight to 6 a.m.,” said Sierra.

Coyote sightings are cyclical and Chandler says around fall and winter baby coyotes are on their own, out and about looking for food now that the summer food source is gone.

“That food source that was there, that natural food source that was there, now the coyotes are thinking what are we going look for, garbage cans, pet food, pets,” said Chandler.

Sierra says she keeps her puppy Arlo inside at night and makes sure her Facebook group is about sharing coyote

Sierra says on Thursday October 25th at 6:30 p.m at The Red Hot Restaurant in Tacoma, they will be hosting a Point Defiance Zoo official to answer any questions or concerns from the public about coyotes and learn general safety information.

Fish and Wildlife suggest if people run into an aggressive coyote, make yourself look big, put your hands in the air and throw things at the animal if they get aggressive. The department says they’d like to hear of any aggressive coyotes or attacks, but otherwise regular coyote sightings