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Coyotes On The Prowl In Ossining, Police Say

Ossining police are warning residents to be cautious after receiving reports of coyote sightings in two riverside neighborhoods.
Ossining police are warning residents to be cautious after receiving reports of coyote sightings in two riverside neighborhoods. Photo Credit: Dru Bloomfield Flickr

OSSINING, N.Y. -- One or more coyotes were spotted in Ossining on Monday and police are reaching out to an expert for assistance.

A resident reported to police that she saw a coyote cruising around Mystic Pointe Condominiums, a gated community off Route 9 that boasts of a nature trail and Hudson River views.

The woman told police she was walking with her dog when they were confronted by the coyote, who was acting aggressively.

Later that day, another resident from North Water Street, less than 2 miles away and also located on the river, called to report a similar sighting.

The two areas are connected by a wooded area, so it could be the same animal and they are reaching out to coyote experts for assistance, police said.

Earlier this year, another Westchester community sought the advice of coyote expert Frank Vincenti, head of the Wild Dog Foundation.

Some reports estimate that there are between 20,000 to 30,000 coyotes in New York state.

Vincenti was called to give a talk in Mount Kisco after two family pets were attacked by a coyote in nearby New Castle, one of them fatally.

The May incidents spurred one homeowners’ association to get a permit to set traps while other community members protested the practice as inhumane and ineffective.

In the meantime, residents can take a few simple steps to minimize coyote-human interactions, Ossining police said.

  • Be vigilant when walking pets, especially small animals, and keep them on a leash.
  • Keep all garbage secured, preferably indoors.
  • Do not leave pet food outdoors.
  • Limit potential hiding places for animals like wood and rock piles. Seal off spaces underneath decks and porches.

According to coyotesmarts.org , coyotes are timid and usually flee at the sight of a human, but if you spot old Wiley lounging in your yard, or actually approaching people or pets, do the following:

  • Be as big and loud as possible. Don't run or turn your back.
  • Wave your arms, clap your hands, and shout.
  • Bang pots and pans or use an air horn or whistle.
  • Throw small stones, sticks, tennis balls or anything else you can lay your hands on.
  • Spray with a hose or a squirt gun filled with water and vinegar.
  • Shake or throw a “coyote shaker” -- a can filled with pennies or pebbles and sealed with duct tape.

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