Coyotes Sighted All Over North Shore
by Niall Fitzgerald
Coyotes are now here. The long-feared incursion of the apex canine predators into the North Shore has now happened, with dozens of documented coyote sightings reported in Glen Head, Roslyn, Sea Cliff, Port Washington, Bayville, Woodbury, Syosset, Lloyd Harbor, Cold Spring Harbor, Centerport, Northport and Eaton's Neck. Local families are expressing concern, as coyotes are known to attack - and kill - family pets. Coyotes also attack small children - with coyote attacks having occurred in Westchester, New Jersey and Connecticut in recent years. Five years ago were the first documented coyote sightings at LaGuardia Airport and Woodside, Queens. Then, in 2018, a coyote was captured on a security camera in Roslyn. Now, local trail cameras and home security cameras are catching regular sightings of coyotes all over. One local resident who moved to Florida warned, "They are everywhere here. My neighbor had to pick up her cats remains on my lawn and the next neighbors lawn... Devastating. She now collects her remaining two cats every night. Just keep them inside. Please, anyone with cats or small dogs, please bring them inside at night or as in cats, please keep them inside." The spread of the coyote population is tied to the decline of hunting in the area, and the spread of coyotes' food animals - squirrels, raccoons, and deer. Over the past 20 years, the deer population has exploded across the north shore into Huntington - which now has thousands of deer - and to Oyster Bay and Locust Valley - which now has hundreds of deer, but had no deer population as recently as 10 years ago. Coyote attacks on humans are rare, but do occur, with children, the elderly, and family pets particularly at risk. A 53-year old woman and a family dog were attacked in two separate attacks by coyotes in Ramapo Valley Park in New Jersey. State authorities closed the park to protect the public. Two years ago, a rabid coyote attacked a 5-year-old girl, slashing her arm, right in front of her mother and 3-year-old sister, in Westchester. Thankfully, an off-duty police officer was present, and he lunged at the animal, and was able to pin it until back-up arrived and killed the coyote. An adult male coyote can weigh 60 pounds, and can kill prey many times its size and weight. Coyotes often hunt in groups, and "unlike wolves, the coyote approaches from the front, lacerating its prey's head and throat." Family pets are particularly at risk, with hundreds of attacks in America reported over just the past six months, by coyotes on pet dogs and cats. Every major metropolitan area with a coyote population - reports numerous coyote attacks on family pets. Tragically, pet attacks often turn into human attacks, as owners try to protect their pets from coyotes.