Town Officials Believe Paintball Guns Will Keep Animals Away

RYE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Rising temperatures are raising concerns in many suburban communities over the return of coyotes.

Law enforcement shared their new battle plan in the war between man and beast with CBS 2’s Lou Young on Friday.

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It’s a non-lethal response to the increasingly aggressive coyotes of southern Westchester, fired from an air-compression gun.

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If it looks similar to this recreational paintball gun, you’re correct. The weapon is exactly the same. The ammunition, though, is very different.

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“It’s essentially a paint ball filled with pepper,” Rye Police Commissioner William Conners said.

It’s a pepper gun that Rye police have now been issued to use on site whenever they spot a coyote.

“The animals are typically very timid around humans. They avoid human contact. What we saw last year was a change in that. And the experts tell us you need to reinforce the fact that they should be uncomfortable around humans and be afraid of them,” Conners said.

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Last year saw several coyote attacks involving children and adults who came to their aid.  Neighbors are still nervous.

“It’s always in the back of our head. We’re always extra careful. We do play outside a lot and hopefully it never happens again,” resident Nina Draddy said.

Jim Horton, with Quality Pro pest control, said he expects the coyotes will be out soon.

“This is the time of year they start pairing up,” Horton told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “They’re gonna have their pups soon. So, they get a little protective of their areas.”

His advice: never turn your back, never run away, make plenty of noise, and scare the coyote. A little of that and a little of the air-compression gun should do the trick.

“It’ll definitely make them feel unwelcome. It should chase ‘em off for sure,” said Tony Galasso, owner of “Crazy Paint.”

There have been no encounters here since October.

“But they are opportunists. They will try and grab whatever they can if they think they can and they will test their boundaries,” Horton said.

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