Signs are going up to advise visitors at Waveny Park in New Canaan, close to the Darien border, that that coyotes are active in the area.
Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section, said the signs are designed to continue educating locals on how to coexist safely and responsibly with coyotes.
Planned for Waveny (just on the north side of the Merritt Parkway and 500 to 1,000 feet north of Darien) and two other New Canaan parks, the signs include tips on what to do if approached by a coyote and how to protect pets.
“It’s just like the police doing a distracted driver campaign — it’s a forever thing and the conversation just has to keep going,” Halm said.
Though coyotes have been denning in recent weeks as pups are born, locals have reported 15 sightings in New Canaan to Animal Control in the past month, Halm said. Coyote-dog fights have been reported recently on Ponus Ridge, Autumn Lane and Beacon Hill Lane.
Halm and a panel of experts are holding a forum on coyotes at New Canaan Library’s Art Gallery on the main floor, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
From a Darien Police Announcement About Coyotes Here
As coyotes have become more common and occasionally prey on small pets, public concerns about coyotes attacking people, especially children, have increased.
Although some coyotes may exhibit bold behavior near people, coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, however aggressive behavior toward small dogs is common and more prevalent during the breeding season which typically runs from January to February.
— Darienite.com has added the boldface emphasis in the words just above. The entire Darien police March 23 statement, which has advice, can be found here.
To report coyote sightings IN DARIEN contact:
Darien Animal Control Officer: 203-662-5345
DEP Wildlife Division: (860) 424-3011
To report animals that are behaving abnormally or are posing an immediate public threat IN DARIEN:
Darien Police Department 203-662-5300
DEP Emergency Dispatch Office (24 hrs.): (860) 424-3333
The new signs include tips such as waving arms, making noise and throwing objects when approached by a coyote. Pets should be kept on short leashes and extra caution should be taken from dusk to dawn, according to the signs.
Recreation Director Steve Benko said the signs are designed to be more informative than just declaring ‘Danger’ to passersby.
“It’s information for people in case they encounter coyotes, what to do,” Benko said.
Halm in February made “coyote hazing kits” available to residents who encounter the animals near their homes, and the kits—underwritten by New Canaan resident and animal welfare advocate Cathy Kangas and her company, PRAI Beauty—went very quickly.
Editor’s note: A version of this article originally was published by NewCanaanite.com.
- Coyotes Have Been Seen Around Town: Police Have Advice (March 23)
- Coyotes Attacking Pets in Darien, One Dog Killed (Dec. 13, 2016)
Like this article? …
- Sign up for the Darienite.com newsletter.
- Like Darienite.com on Facebook.
- Follow Darienite.com on Twitter.