Reports of coyote sightings in Sunnyvale are common. The information provided is intended to educate and assist in identifying and reporting problems with coyotes and other wildlife.


Since coyotes are considered a "high risk species" for possibly carrying rabies, citizens should take care to avoid human (or pet) contact with the species.

Coyote Behaviors

Coyotes generally live in packs, but hunt individually. The coyote diet consists mainly of small mammals including rabbits, mice, squirrels, carrion and insects. Although infrequent, coyotes have been known to prey on domesticated animals in suburban areas, such as cats and small dogs. Human injury from coyote attacks is extremely rare.

Coyotes are typically most active at night, and increased sightings can be correlated with the January through February breeding season and during the fall months when pups leave the family unit to establish new ranges. Coyotes are most often heard howling or yelping during these times of increased activity.

Coyotes mainly range along creeks and in wooded areas and are continuously relocating.

When to Notify Us

  • A random sighting of a coyote is not unusual and Animal Control need not be notified unless the animal creates a nuisance.
  • Coyotes that have threatened or attacked domestic animals are considered a problem and you should notify Animal Control at (214) 862-4525. Our Animal Control Officer will respond and determine what measures are necessary to remove the problem animal.
  • Coyotes exhibiting unusual behavior such as aggressiveness towards humans should be reported immediately by calling 911.