There have recently been sightings of coyotes in Livingston and West Orange. It’s important for Livingston residents to be aware of this fact and of steps they can take to ensure their own safety and that of their family members and pets.
It is extremely rare for coyotes to attack humans. However, it is important for parents to monitor children and pets, even in familiar surroundings, such as backyards. Coyotes travel mainly during nighttime and will prey on small animals.
- Never leave children or pets alone outside.
- Always bring pets in at night.
Keep Coyotes Away
The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Division of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) recommends taking the following steps to keep coyotes away from your property:
- Never feed a coyote or any wildlife. Deliberately feeding coyotes puts pets and other residents in the neighborhood at risk. Feeding pet cats and/or feral (wild) cats outdoors can attract coyotes. The 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Encountering a Coyote
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.
All are urged to read the guidelines in the NJDEP website link (http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/coyote_info.htm) and call the Livingston Health Department at 973-535-7961 to report a coyote sighting within the Township. The Health Department is reporting the locations to the State in an effort to monitor their activity.
If you see a coyote that does not show fear of humans — especially during the day — contact the Health Department or the Police Department at 973-992-3000 ext. #3390.