Possible Coyote Attack on Deer in Nearby Scotch Plains; Experts Advise Caution, Not Panic

0dfbb503f53a7e9967ba_coyote.jpg
Coyotes are wild members of the dog family. They have a long snout and a bushy, black-tipped tail.
0dfbb503f53a7e9967ba_coyote.jpg

WESTFIELD, NJ – Talk of a coyote attack on a deer in Scotch Plains ignited on social media Wednesday.

Scotch Plains police confirmed that a resident of Michael Lane called the department Tuesday to report an injured deer, then followed up with a call on Wednesday to say that the deer’s attacker had returned, according to Capt. Ted Conley.

Conley noted that the officers who responded to the call did not see a coyote firsthand, and he was unable to confirm the attack.

Sign Up for E-News

“We don’t know if the supposed coyote came back or if it was feeding off the carcass,” he said.

In the wake of that discovery and coyote sightings in other nearby towns, officials are urging residents to be cautious but not to panic if they see wild animals in their neighborhoods and yards.

“We become concerned as health professionals when you see a wild animal that is not afraid of people or looks sick,” said Megan Avallone, health director for the Westfield Regional Health Department, which serves Cranford, Fanwood, Garwood, Mountainside, New Providence, Roselle Park, Summit and Westfield.

Officials underscore that it’s not uncommon to see a coyote, fox or raccoon out in the suburbs in the spring during daylight hours because these animals prefer hunting for food for their newborns then and staying with their young at night to protect them from natural predators on the prowl.

According to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, “adult coyotes range in weight from 20-50 lbs. and exceptionally large ones may be up to 55 lbs.  They prey on rabbits, mice, birds and other small animals, as well as young and weakened deer. They also consume carrion (decaying tissue). They are tolerant of human activities and rapidly adapt to changes in their environment.

“They’re extremely adaptable,” Avallone said.

Avallone offered several tips to reduce the risk of attracting wild animals seeking food for their babies.

“One thing you don’t want to do is feed wild animals,” she said. “You don’t want to leave any kind of food outside.”

Avallone suggests securing trash cans with tightly fitting lids or bungee cords to keep animals out. She encourages pet owners to make sure their dogs and cats are up to date with their rabies vaccines and to register them at the town clerk’s office.

Above all else, professionals warn residents not to approach any wild animal. Residents are asked to call animal control or the police department if they see an animal that appears sick or aggressive.

An animal such as a raccoon may be rabid if it is unsteady and “appears drunk,” said Thomas Dodd, owner of Animal Control Solutions which works for the town of Westfield and other clients statewide. Residents should beware of fawns who are yelling or screaming, as this is a sign that it has been abandoned by its mother.

Dodd also cautions residents to stay away from young animals that seem to be alone because a mother will defend her babies if she senses that they are threatened.

“If you see the pups outside, you may want to bring your pets inside,” he said. “Mom is always nearby.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Clark

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f9271be7c50b3bea46af_open_house_roselle

Wed, July 25, 9:00 AM

Durham School Services School Bus, Roselle

Hiring Event Open House Durham School Services ...

Business & Finance

Carousel_image_c78b21e6ed44eb79278a_burned_out

Wed, July 25, 7:00 PM

Cranford United Methodist Church, Cranford

Wednesday Night Prayer Time at Cranford United ...

Religions And Spirituality

Carousel_image_574768912fb23a4cacc7_bfeb2b8d2a5b0913fb60_2f2194e6f686708fbbc3_pd_fd_bbq

Sat, July 28, 12:00 PM

Clark Recreation Center, Clark

Clark PD vs Clark FD BBQ Cook-Off

Food & Drink Police & Fire

“Family Fun & Flix” in Warinanco Park Tuesday, July 24 Featuring “Peter Rabbit"

July 20, 2018

Family Fun & Flix, a free summer entertainment and film series presented by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, continues on Tuesday, July 24 with the presentation of “Peter Rabbit” at Warinanco Park, on the border of Elizabeth and Roselle. 

As part of the evening’s events, UC Get Fit, a health initiative ...

Residents Taking Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

July 18, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

"Tired of Cronyism? Yeah, us too!"

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County

Democratic Chairman, Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman as County Manager smelled of corruption

from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and

running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Obituaries

Jun 29, 1927 - Apr 23, 2018
Margaret (Peggy) Kirk Leonard passed away Monday, April 23rd, surrounded by her loved ones. Peggy ...
Read more