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Police Issue Alert After Coyote Sighting In Westchester

A coyote warning has been issued in a Westchester town following a recent rash of sightings in the area.
A coyote warning has been issued in a Westchester town following a recent rash of sightings in the area. Photo Credit: coyotesmarts.org

A coyote warning has been issued in a Westchester town following a recent rash of sightings in the area.

While noting that seeing a coyote in Rye is not an unusual thing, the local police department issued an alert to the community advising them to take common-sense precautions to ensure that man and animal can peacefully coexist.

Officials said that homeowners should never approach or feed a coyote, and if one approaches, it is suggested one is aggressive making loud noises and forceful behavior to scare away the coyote. 

The DEC has also issued a series of tips to reduce the risk of a potential coyote incident:

  • Do not feed coyotes and discourage others from doing so.
  • Unintentional food sources attract coyotes and other wildlife and increase risks to people and pets.
  • Do not feed pets outside.
  • Make any garbage inaccessible to coyotes and other animals.
  • Fence or enclose compost piles so they are not accessible to coyotes.
  • Eliminate the availability of birdseed. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes. If you see a coyote near your bird feeder, clean up waste seed and spillage to remove the attractant.
  • Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets.
  • Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.
  • If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior - stand tall and hold arms out to look large. If a coyote lingers for too long, then make loud noises, wave your arms, and throw sticks and stones.
  • Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise all outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable to coyotes.
  • Fenced yards may deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level and taller than four feet.
  • Remove brush and tall grass from around your home to reduce protective cover for coyotes. Coyotes are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide.
  • Contact your local police department and DEC regional office for assistance if you notice that coyotes are exhibiting "bold" behaviors and have little or no fear of people. Seeing a coyote occasionally throughout the year is not evidence of bold behavior.
  • Ask your neighbors to follow these same steps.

"The Eastern coyote can be found in rural farmlands and forests, and occasionally in populated suburban and urban areas," the DEC noted. "In most cases, coyotes avoid people as much as possible.

"In fact, coyotes can provide many exciting opportunities. However, if coyotes learn to associate people with food - such as garbage or pet food - they may lose their natural fear of humans, and the potential for close encounters or conflicts increases."

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