An Eastern coyote radio-collared by the DEC. Coyotes are very common in suburban areas and sometimes lose their fear of humans. Photo from the NYSDEC.
COLONIE — Law enforcement is not attempting to capture a coyote that has been sighted wandering around the Strathmore Drive and Leslie Court neighborhood in Loudonville.
In a letter sent to Spotlight News, a Colonie resident described finding the body of a decapitated rabbit on the front lawn. The resident then mentioned that other people had seen a coyote wandering close to Strathmore Drive during the day on July 14.
“I have been told that anyone seeing the coyote should call Environmental Conservation [at] 357-2047 right away. They will seek the den of the coyote if alerted at next sighting and remove it to a wilder area. I hope you will publish this, since the danger of attack on pets and small children is a very real one,” the resident said in the letter.
While an email did reach the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation’s Region 4 office, which serves Albany County, no investigation was conducted. Region 4 Wildlife Manager Michael Clark said that the wandering coyote was not necessarily an abnormal occurrence.
Clark pointed out the idea that coyotes are strictly nocturnal is a common misconception, and that younger coyotes frequently leave their nests during the day to search for food and explore.
Garbage, cat and dog food, and even birdseed have been known to attract coyotes to a property, Clark said. He urged residents to avoid having those attractants out. He also advised acting aggressively if a coyote is found on the property in order to make sure it becomes afraid of humans.
Colonie police reiterated that they frequently receive calls about coyotes.
“Generally we cannot do anything about coyotes as they are indigenous and relatively harmless,” Colonie police spokesman Lieutenant Robert Donnelly said. “They typically avoid people though they have been known to snatch cats and even small breed dogs when the perfect opportunity presents itself, though not anywhere in Colonie that I know of. DEC will handle nuisance or sick animals. Because they are active during the day people often panic when they see them. All they can do is keep small pets close and eliminate access to garbage or food outside.”