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Franklin Lakes NJ Police Department
Thursday August 8th, 2019 :: 10:52 a.m. EDT


Wildlife/coyote safety tips to keep your family and pets safe. People should always be cautious when dealing with all wildlife.

                                Wildlife/Coyote Safety Tips
                             What to do if you see a Coyote
People should always be cautious when dealing with all wildlife. No matter how cute an animal is, you should not attempt to catch, touch or feed them.

  • During the warm weather, adult animals are trying to keep their new offspring properly fed and will be active most hours of the day to accomplish this. Coyotes are now raising their pups and can be more territorial as they guard their mates, dens, pups and food sources.
  • Coyotes can be found in any open space, parks, neighborhoods and even commercial areas. As people and their pets spend more time outdoors, the possibility of a coyote encounter increases.
  • Coyotes may try to escort you out of an area to protect their pups or food sources when you encounter them on a trail. Humans may perceive this behavior as stalking, which is usually not the case. They may also view your pet as prey.
  • Coyotes "prey mostly on deer, rodents, rabbits, and roadkill. If you have noticed coyotes in your neighborhood, you probably have also noticed a reduction in rats, chipmunks, and squirrels. Coyotes are beneficial as a form of rodent control
  • Most of the time, coyotes go out of their way to avoid humans. In urban areas, coyotes are changing their behavior because of human behavior. These animals have become very accustomed to people due to finding food left on their properties. This is a serious concern. As they lose their fear, they will approach people looking for more food, putting themselves in hazardous situations that they would normally avoid. They will take advantage of eating whatever food is available.
Here are some wildlife/coyote safety tips to keep your family and pets safe in the outdoors:
  • Do not approach aggressive wildlife
  • Keep a safe distance from non-aggressive wildlife
  • Stay away from wild animals especially if they appear sluggish or overly aggressive
  • Nocturnal animals that are seen during the day should also be avoided
  • Never feed coyotes or wildlife—it is illegal to feed coyotes in most places. Feeding endangers your family and neighbors as it lures coyotes into neighborhoods.
  • Keep unattended cats and dogs indoors or in completely enclosed runs, especially at night, and do not assume that a fence will keep a coyote out of your back yard.
  • Protect your pets by vaccinating them against rabies
  • Accompany your leashed pet outside. Make sure you turn on lights if it is dark to check your back yard for unexpected wildlife.
  • Keep dogs on short leashes while walking outside; the Division of Wildlife recommends a leash no longer than 6 feet.
  • Should non-aggressive/aggressive wildlife approach you, try to make Leave noisemakers on hand to scare away coyotes that may enter your yard, such as sirens/whistles and horns.  Yell, clap hands, blow a whistle and try to make yourself look larger if you have a close encounter with a coyote or spray wildlife with a garden hose.
  • Don't run away or turn your back on a coyote.
  • Do not allow a coyote to get in between you and your pet or child—keep children close to you.
  • Never leave small children and small pets outside and unsupervised
  • Do not allow a coyote to get in between you and your pet or child-keep children close to you.
  • Never leave small children and small pets outside and unsupervised
  • Cover garbage cans with tight-fitting lids to prevent such from tipping over
  • Remove compost piles, brush, weeds, or wood piles (this reduces the protective cover for wildlife)
  • Install motion-sensitive lighting around your property
  • For safety reasons and prohibitive laws regarding the releasing of wild animals, the trapping of such on private property should be left to a licensed professional
  • Note where and when you have an encounter with a coyote. Coyotes often follow routines. Avoid this area in the future if the encounter was negative.
  • Habituated coyotes are sometimes a neighborhood issue. Work with your neighbors and homeowners association, if applicable, to make sure attractants such as fallen fruit, pet food left outside, dirty barbecue grills, and unsecured trash or compost are removed so that negative coyote interactions are minimized. Be sure no one is intentionally feeding coyotes.
  • Contact authorities in event of any sightings of sick or injured animals
  • Report any bites or incidents involving another animal
  • If you or your pet are bitten or scratched by a wild animal you should immediately clean the wound with soap and clean water and have it treated by a physician or veterinarian, respectively
To report non-emergent animal sightings (the wild animal seems sick, aggressive or otherwise acting unusual, call the Franklin Lakes Police Department at 201-891-3131.
Residents should only dial 911 in the event of an actual emergency

Franklin Lakes NJ Police Department
490 De Korte Dr
Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 201-891-3131

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