Warning: Large coyote or fox on the loose in Westchester County

TUCKAHOE, Westchester County (WABC) -- Authorities in Westchester County are warning residents to be on the lookout for a large coyote or fox that was spotted on the loose in Tuckahoe.

The animal was spotted on Friday morning on Dante Avenue and Bella Vista Street.

Residents are advised to supervise their pets and secure both their garbage and compost piles.

The Department of Environmental Conservation advises that coyotes adapt well to suburban and even some urban environments, but they generally avoid contact with people.

However, conflicts with people and pets can lead to coyotes becoming territorial and aggressive around den sites as they forage. They do this constantly to provide food for their young.

To reduce the chance of an incident, the DEC urges:

--Do not feed coyotes and discourage others from doing so
--Unintentional food sources attract coyotes and other wildlife and increase risks to people and pets;
--Do not feed pets outside
--Make any garbage inaccessible to coyotes and other animals
--Fence or enclose compost piles so they are not accessible to coyotes
--Eliminate availability of bird seed. Concentrations of birds and rodents that come to feeders can attract coyotes. If you see a coyote near your bird feeder, clean up waste seed and spillage to remove the attractant
--Do not allow coyotes to approach people or pets
--Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance
--If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior - stand tall and hold arms out to look large. If a coyote lingers for too long, then make loud noises, wave your arms, and throw sticks and stones
--Do not allow pets to run free. Supervise all outdoor pets to keep them safe from coyotes and other wildlife, especially at sunset and at night. Small dogs and cats are especially vulnerable to coyotes
--Fenced yards may deter coyotes. The fence should be tight to the ground, preferably extending six inches below ground level and taller than four feet
--Remove brush and tall grass from around your home to reduce protective cover for coyotes. Coyotes are typically secretive and like areas where they can hide
--Contact your local police department and DEC regional office for assistance if you notice that coyotes are exhibiting "bold" behaviors and have little or no fear of people. Seeing a coyote occasionally throughout the year is not evidence of bold behavior
--Ask your neighbors to follow these same steps

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