Franklin Lakes Police Chief Joseph R. Seltenrich issued a warning Friday saying that the borough has recently experienced a "modest increase in the amount of coyote sightings."
"Generally, they will avoid people, but may attack small pets if they are left unattended, as they are, by nature, a predatory animal," Seltenrich said in the alert.
The animals, who are related to dogs but have long snouts and bushy tails, survive on rabbits, mice, birds, weakened deer, and human food, often found in trash cans.
The PD released the following NJ Department of Fish and Wildlife warnings about coyotes:
- Never deliberately feed coyotes
- Feed all domesticated pets indoors
- Place trash into tightly closed containers which cannot be easily tipped over
- Remove sources of outside water, if possible
- Bring pets in at night
- Remove bird feeders at night, to avoid attracting coyote prey (rodents)
- Provide secure enclosures for rabbits, poultry, and other such animals
- Pick up fallen fruit and cover compost piles
- Monitor small children, even in backyards
- Install motion-sensitive lighting around the house
- Clear brush and dense weeds from around dwellings, as they attract coyote prey
- If a coyote presents itself, make loud noises, blast an air horn, throw rocks, or spray it with a garden hose
"The Department’s protocol is to monitor the coyote and alert individuals, who are outdoors and in the vicinity."