Coyote spotted lurking around Mission Viejo home rams baby gate in standoff with cat

A RING doorbell camera captured a coyote staring at the front door of a home Sunday night before the animal began ramming the baby gate.

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A doorbell camera outside a Mission Viejo home captured a coyote repeatedly ramming the baby gate attached to the front door late Sunday evening.

The family installed the baby gate so that their two cats can’t get out.

“One of the reasons we like to keep that screen door and baby gate there is she likes to sit on the rug and look out here because we have a lot of bunnies, squirrels and lizards,” explained Cindy Stalnaker, referring to her cat, Maddy. “But at night, it's bunny time, so she likes to watch them.

Stalnaker said Sunday night around 11, she and her husband were watching TV when they heard something.

“I heard this loud bang. My husband was like, 'What the heck was that?'” said Stalnaker.

Her Ring doorbell camera showed a coyote staring at the front door. The animal lurked around for a while, then a minute later, you see the coyote ram the baby gate twice.

“He came around just a shot and ‘pow pow pow’ into that metal baby gate,” said Stalnaker. “He wasn't just walking up and tap. He backed up on the sidewalk and got a running start.”

In the video, Maddy the cat arched her back as the coyote tried to ram the gate repeatedly before it gave up and walked away.

“We've seen them on the videos. We know they run through the yard and cross the street, but never, never this aggressive door-banging going on,” said Stalnaker. “Oh my gosh, if that coyote got into the house, he would have destroyed the house, gotten probably one or both cats. Who knows?”

Here are a few coyote safety tips.

  • Never feed or attempt to tame coyotes. The result may be deadly conflicts with pets or livestock, or serious injuries to small children.
  • Do not leave small children or pets outside unattended.
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
  • Trim ground-level shrubbery to reduce hiding places.
  • Be aware that coyotes are more active in the spring, when feeding and protecting their young.
  • If followed by a coyote, make loud noises. If this fails, throw rocks in the animal’s direction.
  • If a coyote attacks a person, immediately contact the nearest Department of Fish and Wildlife or law enforcement office.
  • Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
  • Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates.
  • Bring pets in at night, and do not leave pet food outside.
  • Avoid using bird feeders as they attract rodents and other coyote prey.
  • Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry and other livestock.
  • Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
  • Ask your neighbors to follow these tips.
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