TARRYTOWN, N.Y. – Tarrytown resident James Connelly was walking home Wednesday from a neighbor's house on Bridge Street when he saw what he thought was a lost German shepherd walking in the middle of the street. It turned out to be a coyote.
“I started to whistle and call for it to come to me to see if it was lost, or if it had a collar,” Connelly said. “When it turned its head towards me and just stared at me as it kept walking down the street I realized it was a coyote. I was amazed as it looked at me the same way my dog looks at me when I walk around the house.”
Connelly and other residents near MacArthur Lane have reported seeing a coyote wander up and down the street on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tarrytown police confirmed the reports and said efforts to find the coyote were not successful.
Wednesday's reports follow several dozen coyote sightings within Tarrytown during the past six months, Tarrytown police records show. Most of the coyotes disappeared before police or animal control could catch them.
“There are numerous coyote sightings in the village,” Tarrytown Police Sgt. Guy Sullivan said Wednesday. “They're obviously wild animals and they run around.”
One police report noted a coyote chased a woman and her 6-year-old daughter into their house within the Edgemont Condominium complex in March. Another coyote was spotted near the complex's playground. The complex's manager there has hired someone to trap coyotes.
The New York State Department on Environmental Conservation notes that coyotes are fairly common in Westchester because “human development makes surprisingly good coyote habitat.”
“As coyotes increasingly adapt to people, more encounters between humans and coyotes will occur, either as sightings, confrontations with pets, disturbed garbage or pet foods, or howling at night,” the DEC's website said. “Some background on coyote habits may help people understand these encounters and solve any problems that occur. To minimize conflicts, it is important that suburban residents do their part to maintain the natural fear that coyotes have of people.”
Tarrytown resident Tricia Taxter said she was walking her dog on MacArthur Lane Wednesday when a coyote walked past her.
“I called the police but there's not much they can do,” she wrote on The Daily Tarrytown's Facebook page. “I'd like animal control notified. Perhaps they could park on MacArthur for a morning to check this out. I don't think this should be ignored.”
Connelly, a Michigan law student home for the summer, said he had not seen any other coyotes in the MacArthur Lane area. Wednesday's coyote walked past him and continued down the street to the small woods at the bottom of MacArthur Lane.
“It was neither afraid of me, nor seemed very interested in the fact I was there,” Connelly said.
For more information on what to do if you see a coyote, visit the Department of Environmental Conservation's website.