RYE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Where have all the coyotes gone?
Nervous suburbanites north of New York City say they want more done to keep the animals from attacking pets and children as they did last summer.
On Friday, officials were arming themselves with air horns at the Rye Parks Department as police continued to patrol with anti-coyote pepper-ball guns.
The state says the communities of Rye and Rye Brook — the scene of disturbing coyote encounters last summer — can harass the animals this year but may not trap them again unless the coyotes resume problem behavior.
“Why wait? Why wait? If we had a coyote problem last summer we could easily have one this summer,” Rye Brook resident Steve Orsini told CBS 2’s Lou Young.
Last summer coyotes killed a dog and attacked two children in a display of aggressive behavior that was as unusual as it was alarming.
In response, police trapped and killed several of the animals.
But so far this year coyote sightings are down to roughly one a month since January. The state Department of Environmental Conservation said that’s not enough activity to warrant a trapping permit, but you can’t find anyone here who believes the problem has gone away.
“I think if they don’t do something there will be problems. I think they need to do something and be proactive before somebody gets hurt,” said Kira Wales of Rye.
The mayor of Rye said he needs a little help.
“We want the public to call the police department and notify the police of a sighting so we can start to monitor where they are and then we can go back to the DEC and see if we can get a permit. I’d like to have every tool possible,” Douglas French said.
WCBS 880’s Sean Adams With Rye Councilman Joe Sack
Until then, there will be noisemakers and sharp eyes on the tree line as coyote season approaches.
Experts warn people not to run away if a coyote is sighted, but to make noise and make it leave. Running, they said, makes a human look like prey.
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