Wildlife

Wildlife in Villa Park

Many residents in Villa Park experience occasional visits from local wildlife, especially because of the City’s rural topography nestled along the hillside. Lately, the City has been receiving calls in regards to wildlife, specifically coyotes, in hopes to learn more about them, to prevent future nuisances, and in most instances to request removal of said wildlife. While some residents understand that wildlife is being pushed from their natural habitat and take pleasure in these visits, many consider them a nuisance because of safety, late night forages in trash cans, messes left behind and the occasional “setting up camp” in or around one’s property. 

As these encounters with wildlife increase, the community has raised safety concerns and brought them to the attention of the City. Unfortunately, the City of Villa Park does not provide services for the capturing or removal of wildlife. However, the City has provided some helpful resources and information regarding wildlife. 

For all general wildlife questions please visit The Orange County Animal Care website.

While OC Animal Care understands residents concerns regarding wildlife, we are not licensed to trap or relocate healthy wildlife and therefore do not provide these services. OC Animal Care receives many calls about wildlife from residents throughout the year. In an effort to alleviate their concerns, we have some helpful tips to discourage wildlife activity in their neighborhoods. 

  • Cats and small dogs can be easy prey for predators and should be supervised as closely as possible or kept indoors.
  • Keep pet food indoors and do not leave food of any kind outside at night.
  • Food left out at night will be taken as a welcome invitation by wildlife, and may prompt a future visit.
  • Remove any fruit which has fallen to the ground.
  • Store trash in covered, heavy-duty containers. Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush and weeds, and enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.
  • Eliminate garbage, debris, lumber piles, etc.
  • Check fencing and try to eliminate access points to roof tops.
  • Change automatic sprinkler settings regularly.

Taking these preventive measures should help in deterring wildlife from visiting your property. Please remember that if the three (3) life sustaining elements are available (food, water and shelter), you are likely to encounter some wildlife in your area. OC Animal Care will respond to situations regarding any wildlife that is sick, injured, dead (depending on contract city), or has had physical contact with a human or domestic animal. For more information on the laws pertaining to urban wildlife and their protection visit the Department of Fish and Game

Coyotes

Information on coyotes can be found at Coyotes in Orange County website and the Department of Fish and Game website.

Many steps can be taken to protect you and your property from nuisance animals like coyotes and other wildlife Many residents of Orange County have expressed concerns about coyote sightings and the consequences of predator animals within the urban environment. Several residents have lost their pets to these skilled hunters because they were not aware of recent coyote activity in the area. Coyotes are found in ALL areas of Orange County. Contrary to popular belief, these animals do not require open space or “wild areas” to survive. In fact, most coyotes within the urban setting are the offspring of generations of coyotes who lived and flourished in the urban areas of Orange County. 

Though these animals are far from domesticated, they are very comfortable living In close proximity to human beings. They have little fear of humans and are frequently seen trotting along within a few feet of joggers, bikers and horseback riders. While not normally a danger to human beings, coyotes will display defensive behaviors if threatened or cornered; therefore, it is important to leave a comfortable distance between you and a coyote. 

Small pets can easily become coyote prey. Cats and small dogs should not be allowed outside alone, even in a fenced yard. It is highly recommended that their owner always accompany small pets. Though coyotes generally hunt between sunset and sunrise, they can be observed at all hours of the day and will not pass up the opportunity for an easy meal. A dog or cat left in a backyard can be taken in a matter of moments. 

If you do encounter a coyote that behaves aggressively, you have probably gotten too close to its prey or its family. Increase the “comfort zone” between you and the coyote. A coyote behaves in a similar way as domestic dogs that are defending their territory and family. Even a fully fenced yard will not keep out a hungry, athletic coyote. These animals are extremely agile and can easily scale any residential fence. All children should be taught from a very early age to avoid strange animals, whether domestic or non-domestic. They should never attempt to feed a wild animal. When older children are hiking or are in parks, they should be instructed on coyote safety. 

Eradication and/or relocation of the urban coyote is not effective. These programs actually provide a vacuum in nature, causing these animals to have even larger litters, ultimately increasing the coyote population. Many steps can be taken to protect you and your property from nuisance animals like coyotes and other wildlife. 

Practicing these defensive measures will minimize the nuisance and losses caused by urban coyotes:

  • Fence off animal enclosures (fully enclose if possible).
  • Keep cats and small dogs indoors or in the close presence of an adult.
  • Feed pets indoors.
  • Store trash in covered heavy-duty containers.
  • Keep yards free from potential shelter such as thick brush and weeds.
  • Enclose the bottoms of porches and decks.
  • Eliminate potential food and water sources, such as fallen fruit and standing water.

To report a coyote sighting, please call Villa Park City Hall at (714) 998-1500 or you can send an email.

If you come into contact with a coyote and need an immediate response, please contact the OC Animal Care: 

Hours of operation:
8:00am-5:00pm daily (714) 935-6848 or (949) 249-5160
5:00pm-8:00am nightly (714) 935-7158