FAIRFIELD, NJ — A coyote sighting in the township earlier this week was the impetus for extra patrol cars in the area and an issuance of safety guidelines to help avoid conflict with the animals.

A coyote was sighted near the Fairfield Recreational Center Wednesday evening at 8:30 p.m., according to the township. A resident was walking and noticed a coyote staring, then following her for a brief period of time. A car drove passed the area a short time later, scaring the coyote away.

"The police department is aware and has extra patrols out in the area, especially during the dawn and dusk hours," a report on the township website said.

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If anyone sees a coyote, they are advised to call 911 immediately.

Other precautions include:

• Walk in groups and not alone.
• If coyotes are present, make loud noises, carry a whistle, blast a canned siren, throw rocks or spray them with a garden hose.
• Do not feed a coyote. It could put puts and other neighborhood residents at risk.
• Feeding pet cats or feral cats outdoors can attract coyotes. They feed on the pet food and also prey upon the cats.
• Put garbage in tightly closed containers that cannot be tipped over.
• Remove sources of water, especially in dry climates.
• Bring pets in at night.
• Put away bird feeders at night to avoid attracting rodents and other coyote prey.
• Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, and other farm animals.
• Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles.
• Although it is extremely rare, coyotes have been known to attack humans. Parents should monitor their children in familiar surroundings, such as backyards.
• Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house.
• Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings to reduce protective cover for coyotes and makes the area less attractive for rodents and rabbits.

For more information, visit https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/coyote_info.htmI .