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Coyote attacks on dogs, sightings of 'stalking' behavior reported in Simsbury

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is working with police to address these attacks and prevent future ones.

SIMSBURY, Conn. — Simsbury residents and pet owners are asked to take caution as police and environmental officials investigate reports of coyote attacks on dogs and sightings that describe observing "stalking" behavior.

There were reports of coyotes attacking dogs near the blue and yellow trails in the town's conservation area, specifically between Town Forest Road and Ethel Walker School, as well as near the edge of the woods on Wildwood Road and Castlewood Road.

The dogs in these attacks survived but have injuries.

Other reports around town describe coyotes displaying stalking behavior.

Police ask pet owners to keep their animals in control and on a leash, and don't let them go unattended.

If a coyote approaches, stand tall, wave your arms above the head, and yell loudly. move toward an area, but don't turn away from the coyote or run away.

Keep trash in tight containers and do not leave food outside, which not only attracts coyotes but also bears.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is working with police to address these attacks and prevent future ones.

DEEP officials said they believe the coyotes are defending a territory and may have a den nearby.  

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DEEP provided tips to prevent coyote interactions as well: 

  • DO NOT allow pets to run free! Keep cats indoors, particularly at night, and dogs on a leash. The installation of a kennel or coyote-proof fencing is a long-term solution for protecting pets. A variety of livestock fencing and small animal pen designs can protect farm animals. An invisible electric fence is not effective in protecting dogs from coyote attacks.
  • NEVER feed coyotes! DO NOT place food out for any mammals. Clean up bird seed below feeders, pet foods, and fallen fruit. Secure garbage and compost in animal-proof containers.
  • ALWAYS walk dogs on a leash. If approached by a coyote while walking your dog, keep the dog under control and calmly leave the area. DO NOT run or turn your back. Coyotes are territorial and many reports of bold coyotes visiting yards, howling, or threatening larger dogs can often be attributed to this territorial behavior.
  • Attempt to frighten away coyotes by making loud noises (e.g., shouting, air horn) and acting aggressively (e.g., waving your arms, throwing sticks, spraying with a hose).
  • Be aware of any coyote behaving abnormally or exhibiting unusually bold behavior (e.g., approaching people for food, attacking leashed pets that are with their owners, stalking children, chasing joggers or bikers, etc.) and report these incidents to local authorities immediately.
  • Be aware of and report any coyotes exhibiting behavior indicative of rabies, such as staggering, seizures, and extreme lethargy. Daytime activity is not uncommon and does not necessarily indicate rabies.
  • Teach children to recognize coyotes and to go inside the house (do not run) or climb up on a swing or deck and yell if they are approached.
  • Prevent coyotes from denning in close proximity to homes and yards with pets and children. Identify potential den sites in March when snow tracking can easily reveal natural dug burrows, rock crevices, hollow tree trunk cavities, and crawl spaces under sheds or even decks – especially on unoccupied homes or cottages. Such dens should be inspected and any occupants evicted prior to denning in April. Unoccupied dens should be filled in and or collapsed and those suspected under buildings, porches, and sheds excluded by animal proofing with sturdy hardware cloth.
  • Educate your neighbors. Ask them to follow these same steps.
  • Regulated hunting and trapping may be used to remove problem coyotes in areas where it is safe and legal to do so.
  • DEEP does not remove problem coyotes but may issue a permit to landowners or municipalities to employ a licensed Nuisance Wildlife Control Operator, who is qualified in advanced trapping, to target coyotes that have attacked supervised pets or penned farm animals; are diseased; or have threatened public health and safety.
  • Contact the DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011 for more information on coyotes or other wildlife problems.

Coyote sightings should be reported to Simsbury animal control at 860-658-3110 or DEEP's Wildlife Division.


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