YONKERS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Coyotes are invading a Westchester neighborhood.
Homeowners blame the historic Yonkers Raceway for allowing the potentially dangerous pack to thrive right in their backyards.
In an exclusive report, CBS2’s Brian Conybeare spoke to residents about a pack of coyotes that lives near the Yonkers Raceway and the Hillview Reservoir just off the New York State Thruway.
“They’re not afraid of humans, that’s what scares me,” Brian Toland said.
Toland lives on Kimball Place. His backyard is right down the hill from the raceway parking lot and he said the coyotes are getting more aggressive, keeping his two kids from playing outside and trying to lure his dog Attics into a trap.
“These two coyotes were on either side in the bushes. What I took from that is that they were basically hunting my dog,” he said.
Drainage from the raceway feeds a creek creating a water and food source. After calls from CBS2, the raceway sent workers out to patch gaps in a chain link fence to hopefully keep the animals out of Toland’s yard.
Officials from the raceway refused to talk about the issue on camera, but said they are working with various state and federal agencies to install cameras around the property to track and possibly trap the coyotes.
If the coyotes are trapped, they are not relocated and released.
“We have to euthanize them,” Jim Dreisacker, Westchester Wildlife said.
Dreisacker is a licensed trapper who said most coyotes are not a danger, but some can be.
“If that particular coyote does feed on house pets, cats, and dogs, and I take it 10 miles, I let it go, what did I just do? I just took that problem animal, and put it in another neighborhood which will create more problems,” he said.
Toland doesn’t necessarily want the coyotes killed, but he said somethings got to be done.
“I just need some safe space for my kids and my family, and we’re all happy,” he said.
For now, he’s keeping a close eye on his dog and his kids.
Neighbors are meeting with the state DEC and the U.S. Department of Agriculture about the coyote problem Thursday night.