WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Children and small pets may be at risk in White Plains following multiple coyote sightings in various locations throughout the city.
The White Plains Department of Public Safety issued an alert this week warning residents to be on high alert following several sightings, the latest at the White Plains Rural Cemetery on North Broadway.
According to police, "the Eastern coyote is firmly established in New York. They live in New York as an integral part of our ecosystems. People and coyotes can usually coexist if the natural fear of people that coyotes have is maintained. Pets and young children are typically most at risk."
Police have cautioned that coyotes should never be fed, and if a coyote is spotted, one should be aggressive with their behavior, making loud noises, waving arms and throwing sticks and stones to seem like a greater predator.
Other tips include:
- 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. To reduce risks, do not feed pets outside.
- Make any garbage inaccessible to coyotes and other animals.
- Eliminate availability of bird seed. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes. If you see a coyote near your birdfeeder, 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, 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.
- Regulated hunting and trapping increases the "fear" coyotes have towards people.
- Fencing your yard may deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level, and taller than 4 feet.
- Remove brush and tall grass from around your property to reduce protective cover for coyotes. Coyotes are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide. See "Tips to Eliminate Wildlife Conflicts" for more information.
- Contact your local police department and NYSDEC regional office for assistance if you notice that coyotes are exhibiting "bold" behaviors and have little or no fear of people.
- Ask your neighbors to follow these same steps.
Anyone that observes a coyote displaying bold or aggressive behavior can report the animal to the White Plains Department of Public Safety by calling (914) 422-6111.
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