PARK RIDGE, N.J. -- Bergen County isn't attractive only to home buyers: Coyotes continue to prowl the area -- including one spotted the other day in Park Ridge.
"He walked right in front of the car and stood there looking at us so cool," said Timothy O'reilly, who spotted the animal on Brae Boulevard.
More coyote sightings were reported last year in Bergen County than ever before, said authorities who added that already three dozen have been reported this year.
Why? Because we make it easy for them.
"Coyotes primarily hunt rodents and rabbits for food, but will take advantage of whatever is available, including garbage, pet food and domestic animals that are left unattended," they said in a release.
"In suburban and urban areas, coyotes have occasionally attacked small pets," the warning says. "Although attacks on humans are extremely rare in eastern states, as with any predatory animal, they can occur."
Bergen had two attacks in 2015, including one on a man walking his dog.
Because coyotes bear litters during April and May -- with females delivering between three and nine pups -- conflicts can happen when the adults forage for food for their young ones.
- Don't let your pets into a dark backyard;
- Use motion lights;
- Clear brush and dense weeds;
- Keep garbage in tightly closed containers that can't be tipped over;
- Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles;
- Don't feed pet or feral cats outside: Coyotes prey both on the food and the felines;
- Never feed a coyote -- it puts puts pets and other residents in the neighborhood at risk;
- Remove sources of water, especially when it's dry out;
- Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey;
- Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, and other farm animals;
- Chase them off by making loud noises, blasting a canned air siren, throwing rocks or spraying coyotes with a garden hose;
- If you see a coyote in the daytime who shows no fear of humans or if a coyote attacks a person, immediately contact your local police department.
You can also call the state Division of Fish and Wildlife at (908) 735-8793 ; outside of normal business hours call the DEP Hotline at 877-WARN-DEP .
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.