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Coyote Ugly: New Westchester Attack Reported

There have been multiple coyote attacks in Westchester in recent days. Photo Credit: Yonkers Police Department
There have been multiple coyote attacks in Westchester in recent days. Photo Credit: Paul Sinacore

A new coyote attack has been reported in Westchester County, after the animal took a swipe at a woman riding her bike in Yonkers on Thursday afternoon, according to multiple reports.

A coyote lunged at the woman riding on the Westchester County Bike Trail near Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers shortly before 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 1. The attack comes on the heels of three other coyote attacks that have been reported in two days in Hastings-on-Hudson and Yonkers.

It was not clear if the incidents were the same coyote, or multiple coyotes. Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner announced on Thursday that police intended to use a drone to track down a coyote that attacked three people, including a postal worker and killed a small dog in Hastings. In response to the attacks, police in Yonkers are currently canvassing the South County Trail Way.

The Dobbs Ferry Police Department is also working with the Hastings Police Department to track the wild coyote, which may be rabid. Officials are urging residents to keep pets and children inside, and to monitor their activities if they go outside. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is also sending officers to the area to help track and capture the coyote.

Greenburgh Police received their first report of the coyote shortly before 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, with the second coming from a Kent Avenue resident shortly after 7 p.m., stating that he had been attacked and treated for a leg injury. Dosin said that calls continued to come in, with reports of a small dog that was attacked and killed.

The coyote was last seen in the area of Westminster Drive in Yonkers, Det. Sgt. Dean Politopoulos said on Thursday afternoon. Police have advised residents to stay clear of wooded areas until the sudden coyote outbreak is resolved.

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.

Officials said that because coyotes who attack may be rabid, any resident who has sighted a coyote should contact the police department by calling (914) 478-2344.

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