Drivers traveling along the 290 near the Main Street overpass in Amherst may have experienced a wild encounter during the morning commute. An image taken there shows an Amherst police officer capturing a coyote in the median of the interstate.
“When that coyote was brought to us, the first thing that happened was he was checked out and x-rayed to see if he was an animal that could be saved,” said S.P.C.A. Chief Communications Officer, Gina Browning.
But Browning said the coyote suffered serious internal injuries and had to be euthanized. “We're thinking that the impact between some kind of a vehicle and the coyote had to be pretty hard.”
This marks at least the second confirmed coyote sighting here in Western New York in about a month. There was also a sighting in Lancaster in January. Reps from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation estimates there are about 20 to 30 thousand coyotes statewide. “I wouldn't say that it's a problem. It's just something that people have to learn how to live with them,” said D.E.C. wildlife biologist, Jennifer Kurilovitch.
Coyotes are typically elusive and shy away from human contact. However, if one is protecting its young, it can become aggressive. So Browning recommends keeping your property clean to avoid attracting them altogether. “In order to scare the coyote away, be very loud, maybe with some sort of audio deterrent like a shaker can or a spray bottle,” Browning said.
For more information from the SPCA, call: 875-7360.
Below, please find some more information provided by the N.Y.S. Department of Environmental Conservation:
The Eastern coyote is firmly established in New York, and has been present in New York State for about 70 years. They live in New York as an integral part of our ecosystem, and DEC estimates that there are currently 20,000-30,000 coyotes statewide. People and coyotes can usually coexist if the natural fear of people that coyotes have is maintained. As coyotes become more adapted to living near people, hearing or seeing coyotes may become more common. These increased sightings should not be interpreted as aggressive behavior. A coyote seen in overgrown fields, brushy areas, woodlands, or habitats in between these areas of natural cover is normal.
Below are some steps that DEC recommends to reduce/prevent coyote problems or negative encounters with coyotes from occurring.
- Never feed or attempt to get close to a coyote.
- Keep pets under control, and be sure not to leave them out at night. Coyotes may kill or injure a pet, especially small dogs and cats. Walk your dog on a leash and accompany your pet outside, especially at night.
- Provide secure shelters for poultry, rabbits, and other vulnerable animals.
- Control other sources of food that may attract a coyote-keep your trash secure and compost bins covered; closely monitor your bird feeders to ensure that they are not attracting other wildlife, and keep dog and cat food bowls inside. Coyotes that rely on wild food sources remain wild and wary of people.
- Coyotes like areas where they can hide, yet still be near food. You can help by thinning brushy areas in your yard and closing off crawl spaces. Coyotes may use areas under buildings for resting or raising young.
- If others in your neighborhood are attracting coyotes, tell them about the hazards posed by coyotes and ask them to take the measures recommended above.
- Be cautious and sensible.
- People should never try to get close to coyotes. Any coyote that shows unusual boldness or acts tame should be avoided.
- Eastern coyotes are firmly established in NY and an integral part of the Ecosytem, in urban, suburban and rural environments
- They are opportunistic omnivores and eat things like seeds, fruit, insects, rodents, small mammals, infrequently deer, and carcasses as they encounter them
- Home range of .5 to 5 miles
- Regulated trapping and hunting is the preferred way to control furbearer populations, such as coyotes
- A generous 6 month hunting Season extends from Oct. 1 to Mar 27
Should anyone notice a coyote acting strangely or causing a nuisance, they can call DEC at 851-7000 to report the animal. New York State has a yearly coyote hunting season to manage the coyote population. Information on hunting coyotes and hunting regulations is listed in the 2015-16 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide and also on DEC's website.
Dealing with Coyote Conflicts: http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/6971.html
A link to hunting seasons: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/hunting.html
A link to trapping seasons: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30507.html