The Township has received several inquiries from homeowners requesting guidance as to what actions or precautions can be taken if they see a coyote in their neighborhoods. In this regard, the Township reached out to the Wildlife Services of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for helpful tips.
Here is what Wildlife Services said:
- Keep your distance and do not feed coyotes or any other wildlife.
- Be a responsible pet owner by keeping your dog on a leash. Do not leave pets unsupervised even in your backyard.
- If you should see a coyote, make loud noises to scare it off.
- If you are in the territory of a coyote, it will follow you until you are out of its area and are not a threat.
- Coyotes are active at all hours of the day and night. However, they are not an immediate threat and cannot be trapped if they have not caused harm to life or property.
- Rabid coyotes are symptomatic, that is, they foam at the mouth, walk in tight circles, and have trouble walking straight. In the event, someone is bitten by a coyote, dial 9-1-1 for medical assistance.
- If a coyote causes “property damage” including biting a pet, digging a hole under a shed or other structure, or building a den in your yard, a homeowner, or a homeowners’ association (in the case of a condominium development, should contact a private service to trap the coyote.
In recent phone calls from residents, Mayor Gallagher pointed out that overdevelopment in the region has caused wildlife such as coyote, fox and bear to find new habitats thereby making contact with humans more frequent. He stated that this requires everyone to be vigilant in protecting themselves, family pets, and property.
For more information concerning coyotes and other wildlife, you can contact the Division of Wildlife Services at Wildlife.org or call the hotline at (908) 735-4513, Mondays through Fridays between 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM.