Coyote Warnings on the North Shore
By Rupert Deedes
After the rash of recent coyote sightings across the north shore, local governments have issued warnings to parents and pet owners to be careful.
The Village of Lattingtown, the Town of Oyster Bay, and the Nassau County SPCA all issued advisories this week to local residents to be aware of the potential dangers.
According to New York State, there are over 30,000 coyotes in New York State, and over the last eight years or so, many of them have migrated from wild areas upstate to the suburbs, including Long Island, where food is more easily available.
The numbers of coyotes on Long Island are still small – it is estimated that there are no more than three or four dozen coyotes on the North Shore - but their numbers will be growing fast.
SPCA experts say that typically coyotes do not attack adult people, unless cornered.
Pets and small children, however, are in danger, and should be kept indoors at night. Residents are also encouraged to fence off their back yards and make trash bins inaccessible to animals.
These experts say that if you encounter a coyote, make yourself big, wave your arms, and make loud noises. If need be, throw sticks and stones at them.
Whatever you do, do not run: If you run, the coyote sees you as a prey to be chased down and hunted.
Experts also strongly advise against feeding the animals: Coyotes are creatures of habit. You do not want to encourage them to hang around your neighborhood, or lose their fear of humans.