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Helpful tips to avoid coyote conflicts

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released some tips and tricks to help New Yorkers and their pets stay safe during coyote breeding season.

“This is the time of year when New York’s resident coyotes breed and set up dens for pups that will arrive in the spring. While conflicts with people and pets are rare, remain alert and follow DEC’s common sense guidelines to minimize the risk for potential conflicts with coyotes, ” said  DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos.

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Can’t tell the difference between a coyote and a big dog? Don’t fret. Eastern coyotes look similar to German Shepard dogs but weigh much less (35 to 45 lbs). Coyotes have long, thick fur and bushy tails that typically point down, with ears that are large and pointed.

Tips to avoid the likelihood of running into coyotes include: Do not feed coyotes. Do not leave food or garbage outside. Enclose compost piles. Do not leave bird seed in accessible areas as coyotes are attracted to the birds and rodent that feed on the seed.

For comprehensive guidelines, go to the DEC’s website.