What to Know
- Coyotes are now raising their pups and can be more territorial as they guard their mates, dens, pups and food sources
- As people and their pets spend more time outdoors, the possibility of a coyote encounter increases
- Coyotes often follow routines, so if you encounter one, you should avoid the area next time
A 53-year-old man had to get 30 stitches after he was attacked by what may have been a coyote in a New Jersey park earlier this week, officials said.
The man was walking his dog in POW MIA Park in Manchester at about 5 p.m. Wednesday and encountered the wild canine when he followed his pooch into the woods, according to authorities.
The aggressive animal attacked the man without provocation, biting him on both forearms before running off, according to police. His dog, a German shepherd, was not harmed.
The man called a friend for help after the attack, authorities said. He was taken to Ocean Medical Center in Brick, where doctors stitched up his wounds. He will also be administered shots for rabies.
Authorities said that coyotes had been heard yipping and howling in the area in recent days, and that they were setting up snares and traps to capture the animal. No one else saw the animal that attacked the man, police say.
Homeowners in the area should be on the lookout for coyotes and should exercise extra caution with children and pets that might spend time outside.
Coyotes are now raising their pups and can be more territorial as they guard their mates, dens, pups and food sources. Officials issued a public service announcement with tips to stay safe:
- Coyotes can be found in any open space, parks, neighborhoods and even commercial areas. As people and their pets spend more time outdoors, the possibility of a coyote encounter increases.
- Coyotes may try to escort you out of an area to protect their pups or food sources when you encounter them on a trail. Humans may perceive this behavior as stalking, which is usually not the case.
- Note where and when you have an encounter with a coyote. Coyotes often follow routines. Avoid this area in the future if the encounter was negative.
- They may also view your pet as prey.
- Never feed coyotes—it is illegal to feed coyotes in most places. Feeding endangers your family and neighbors as it lures coyotes into neighborhoods.
- Keep unattended cats and dogs indoors or in completely enclosed runs, especially at night, and do not assume that a fence will keep a coyote out of your back yard.
- Accompany your leashed pet outside. Make sure you turn on lights if it is dark to check your back yard for unexpected wildlife.
- Keep dogs on short leashes while walking outside; the Division of Wildlife recommends a leash no longer than 6 feet.
- Leave noisemakers on hand to scare away coyotes that may enter your yard, such as whistles and horns.
- Don't run away or turn your back on a coyote.
- Do not allow a coyote to get in between you and your pet or child—keep children close to you.
- Yell, clap hands, blow a whistle and try to make yourself look larger if you have a close encounter with a coyote.