Oct. 19 (UPI) -- A California city plagued with sea lion problems spent $200 on a pack of plastic coyotes to deter the animals from intruding in the harbor.
Newport Beach officials said they have been moving the eight decoy coyotes to various locations around the city's harbor each day to keep intrusive sea lions from climbing up on docks and boats.
"We are moving them around on a regular basis, around the harbor, where there are known problem areas, notifying the dock or boat owners," city spokeswoman Mary Locey told KABC-TV.
The city said the eight plastic coyotes were purchased for about $200. The statues appear as though the wild canines are about to pounce on their prey.
Locey said the scheme went into action after numerous complaints about sea lions damaging boats and causing noise with their loud barking.
"We don't recommend anybody get near a sea lion or try to befriend them or feed them. That's against the municipal code as well, but you do have to be careful in what actions you take," Locey said.
Locey said the idea came from the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, which had previously reported success with using fake coyotes to ward off sea lions.