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Coyote Forum Scheduled For Westchester

A coyote forages for food on Rikers Island earlier this year. The wild dogs have been spotted in Westchester as well, in urban, as well as, more countrified communities.
A coyote forages for food on Rikers Island earlier this year. The wild dogs have been spotted in Westchester as well, in urban, as well as, more countrified communities. Photo Credit: Wild Dog Foundation

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – Coyotes are a hot topic in in Westchester where the wolflike wild dogs have been spotted.

They have been especially controversial in New Castle where two attacks on family pets have spurred one homeowners’ association to get a permit to set traps while other community members protest the practice as inhumane and ineffective.

They have also been seen foraging for food in such urbanized places as Yonkers.

Canis latrans, the Latin name for coyote, is distinguished from the wolf by its slender build, relatively small size, large ears and pointy muzzle.

But its howl, especially when heard at night, can still send chills down the spine.

Frank Vincenti, head of the Wild Dog Foundation, hopes to present a few facts about the mysterious creature and offer commonsense tips for minimizing human-coyote conflicts.

He will also reveal new theories as to why some communities have a coyote “problem” while others do not.

Vincenti’s talk is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, July 14, in the Mount Kisco Public Library's large meeting room.

According to Vincenti, the state Department of Environmental Protection does a "good job" of informing people about the potential dangers of encounters between coyotes and pets, such as cats and dogs.

However, he said Tuesday, it doesn't hurt to remind folks every year of those facts, especially in the spring, when coyotes are having their pups and may either be foraging for food, or patrolling their "territory."

Even the most protective of owners might have the occasional "lapse in judgment" and leave their pets outside, unprotected, at night, Vincenti said.

Some reports estimate that there are between 20,000 to 30,000 coyotes in New York state.

The coyote population can fluctuate depending on food, weather, and other conditions, such as disease.

For more information about the foundation, click here.

The library is located at 100 East Main St., Mount Kisco. It can be reached by calling (914) 666-8041.

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