Police warn Essex County residents to be careful amid increase of coyote sightings

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Friday, August 11, 2023
NJ residents warned to be careful amid increase of coyote sightings
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Residents are advised to be especially careful when walking pets near wooded areas or during dawn or dusk. Johny Fernandez has more.

ESSEX COUNTY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police in New Jersey are warning residents to be careful after an increase of coyote sightings in Livingston and Essex County.

Residents are advised to be especially careful when walking pets near wooded areas or during dawn or dusk.

Soloman Schrader now walks around his neighborhood with a foghorn.

"It's going to be carried, some type of noise maker is going to be carried, every time we walk our dog until we are convinced that the coyote has sought greener pastures," Schrader said.

Schrader lives in an area in New Jersey where there's been an increase in coyote sightings this last week.

"Because the coyotes are aggressive, and they are known to be willing to attack dogs even if they're semi-attached to humans," he said.

Ring camera surveillance video showed a coyote walking through a driveway last week.

For Gina Jarmel, her encounters with coyotes hit close to home.

"Two days ago it was camped out, it was laying there, it was standing up watching a buck," Jarmel said. "I have two large dogs, and I'm afraid to let them in my yard. Because I don't know if it'll climb the fence. Maybe play with them or eat them. I don't know."

Residents say they'd like more done to make sure people are safe.

"The fact that it's interacting with people, walking in right in front of front lawns right in broad daylight," Jarmel said. "It shows it doesn't care and that makes people nervous. We just don't want people to get hurt."

Schrader says he has no plans of stopping his life, but he'll be ready in case he encounters a coyote.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife in New Jersey says that the amount of coyotes in the area has grown since the 1980s.

It is urging residents to keep their backyards clear of anything that will attract coyotes.

Click here to learn more about coyotes in New Jersey.

More tips to keep coyotes away

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection offered the following advice:

-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. 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.

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