In recent weeks, there have been various coyote sightings on Staten Island. It is important to understand these creatures in order to keep your family and pets safe.
Coyote Packs in Our Neighborhoods
Coyotes can travel in small packs, usually about 5-6 adults, and the pups born during the year. Sometimes, a coyote might break off from the pack in order to scout out food. Coyotes are predators but are also very opportunistic. They will scavenge when necessary, and will often eat trash in suburban areas.
Informing Your Children About Coyote Sightings
Generally, children should be taught not to approach unfamiliar or wild animals. Many children, especially younger kids, may see coyotes as dogs. However, coyotes can be dangerous. They can bite or fight back when they feel cornered or threatened. Coyotes will also fight to defend the young pups of their pack. Additionally, they can carry rabies and other diseases.
Pets should not be left unattended outside. It is important to keep an eye on your pets. Additionally, keep them on a leash in case you need to pull them away from other animals. Do not keep pet food outside when you are not there to supervise. Also, be sure to keep your pet’s boosters up-to-date. If your pet is bit by a wild animal, take them to the vet for testing.
Coyotes will likely not hunt other dogs, but may fight them over territory. While domesticated dogs may see a coyote as a playmate, coyotes will often fight to protect the young of their pack. As such, it is important to keep your dog on a leash when it is outside. Leashes allow you to pull your pet out of harm’s way when needed.
Coyote or Dog?
Most adults would be able to tell the difference between a coyote and a domesticated dog. Coyotes are about the size of a medium dog, with thin pointed snouts and a flatter forehead. Most notably, coyotes tend to keep their tails between their legs while running. The fur of a coyote is generally a blend of tans, grays, and whites. Please note that New York / New Jersey Wildlife Removal does not trap domestic or stray dogs.