A Department of Environmental Conservation Wildlife Biologist who spoke with concerned Greece residents about coyotes wants people to remember one key statistic: There are about 650 dog attacks in New York State each year bad enough to send people to the hospital. There have only been two recorded coyote attacks on humans in New York since they began keeping records.
Scott Smith talked for an hour-and-a-half to more than 300 people at Greece Town Hall. He was invited by the town after an increasing number of coyote sightings and a number of reports of cats and small dogs eaten by coyotes.
Smith said there aren’t actually any more coyotes than in past years. What’s happening is that they’re getting used to living around people, and their behavior gets bolder.
Smith said food sources need to be cut off, so don’t feed pets outside and keep garbage cans secure around coyotes. Clean up spilled bird seed under feeders. It attracts rodents, which are coyote food. If a coyote approaches you, shout, wave your arms and throw something at it.
One thing Smith says is for sure: coyotes aren’t going away.That wasn’t a message some at the meeting wanted to hear, including some people who blame development at Apple Annie’s and other open areas of the town for changing coyote behavior.