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Actor Travis Van Winkle is warning others after his dog, Karen, was attacked by coyotes while the pair were out on a hike at Griffith Park on Monday.

“If you’re hiking with your dog up here at Griffith Park, be very careful,” he said in a video posted to Instagram. “Two coyotes … came after her. One almost got her leg. I had to slide down the mountain, literally screaming at the top of my lungs.”

Van Winkle, best known for his roles in “Transformers” and “You,” posted footage of the two wild animals leaving the area, seemingly unfazed by the presence of people.

Wildlife experts say coyotes are generally nocturnal and seldom seen.

But regulars at Griffith Park say coyote sightings are a common occurrence, with one such encounter happening Tuesday morning.

“Out of the blue came two coyotes, coming up from the canyonside, and jumped over the street and up the hill,” park visitor Terrell Woods told KTLA. “Everybody was in awe because you just don’t see coyotes at that time of day.”

Another frequenter of Griffith Park, Anna Lobmeyer, said she sees coyotes there often.

“I’ve seen like whole packs of them. They cross the trail,” Lobmeyer said. “They usually don’t interact but I have a pretty big dog, so it depends.”

Los Angeles Animal Services warns:

  • Never leave small animals or children unattended outdoors if there are coyotes in your area and even if your yard is fenced
  • Do not leave pet food dishes outside after your pet has finished eating
  • Secure trash cans or bins; walk your dog on a leash at all times – it is the law
  • Make loud noises or blow a loud whistle to scare coyotes away

And unlike the approach with an aggressive dog, with coyotes you can raise your arms above your head, stomp your feet and shout at the wild animals as a form of defense, the agency says.

Experts say carrying an umbrella and then opening and closing it rapidly will generally scare away coyotes too.

In terms of keeping your property or your yard free of coyotes, clear out brush from under trees and around your home. Close off crawl spaces under porches and decks, and never feed a wild animal, experts say.