A South Lake Tahoe home had unexpected guests for two weeks as a family of coyotes settled into a crawl space beneath the house. The unusual incident was captured on video and in photos by local wildlife expert Tooge Sielsch.
The homeowner informed Sielsch of the coyotes’ presence, hoping for advice on how to coax them away from the property. Sielsch, a longtime Tahoe resident, advised against this, suggesting that the young coyotes could benefit from the sheltered location and would likely vacate the premises once the pups had matured.
“They’re at that age that before they even come out of the den, you’re really risking fatalities,” Sielsch explained to the SFGate.
Sielsch used video recordings to monitor the coyote mother’s daily outings, leaving the pups behind in the den. Over the course of two weeks, Sielsch observed the 3- to 4-week-old pups, capturing the day-to-day interactions between the mother coyote and her young. Sielsch, who boasts nearly 700 Instagram videos featuring various Lake Tahoe wildlife, said it’s not uncommon for coyotes to temporarily den under people’s homes.
“I think it happens probably more than people realize because, unlike a bear under a house — you put 400 pounds under a house, it can cause a lot of damage, and there’s a lot of noise,” he said. “Whereas the coyotes are so much smaller. They have such a small impact on that space, and that’s why I talked the homeowner into letting the [coyote] family stay.”
As Sielsch predicted, the coyote family moved out of the residence on their own, vacating the property last Friday. This episode serves as a reminder of the close proximity between human residences and wildlife habitats in areas like Lake Tahoe, and the balance needed to coexist with our wild neighbors.
Check out Tooge Sielsch’s Instagram page to see the coyote family in action, along with a bunch of great wildlife videos from Tahoe.