Coyote Sightings Prompt Alert
Posted: April 29, 2015
The Randolph Township Police have been notified of several coyote sightings recently in and around the township.
According to New Jersey’s Division of Wildlife, coyotes bear litters during April and May, with females delivering 3-9 pups. Run-ins between coyotes and humans are most likely to develop as adults forage for food for the pups in the spring and summer.
Although coyotes primarily hunt rodents and rabbits for food, they will take advantage of whatever is available, including garbage, pet food and domestic animals that are left unattended.
The state offers the following guidelines to help reduce the likelihood of conflicts with coyotes:
- Never feed a coyote. Deliberately feeding coyotes puts pets and other residents in the neighborhood at risk.
- Feeding pet cats and/or feral cats outdoors can attract coyotes. The coyotes feed on the pet food and also prey upon the cats.
- Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
- Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates.
- Bring pets in at night.
- Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
- Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry and other farm animals.
- Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
- Although extremely rare, coyotes have been known to attack humans. Parents should monitor their children, even in familiar surroundings, such as backyards.
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
- Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings—this reduces protective cover for coyotes and makes the area less attractive to rodents and rabbits. Coyotes, as well as other predators, are attracted to areas where rodents are concentrated like woodpiles.
- If coyotes are present, make sure they know they’re not welcome. Make loud noises, blast a canned air siren, throw rocks, or spray them with a garden hose.
If you observe a coyote in the daytime that shows no fear of humans or if a coyote attacks a person, immediately contact the police department and the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 908.735.8793. During evenings and weekends, residents should call New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Hotline at (877) WARN-DEP.