State warns about leaving food out

The Dutchess County Health Department noted that coyotes have been spotted in Poughkeepsie and Hyde Park exhibiting bold and aggressive behavior, and urged caution.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation says this behavior is consistent with coyotes being fed; residents should not leave food outside, including that left for pets and birds or in unsecured garbage, that could attract the animals. January through March is breeding season for coyotes in New York state, and pup rearing extends into the summer. Coyotes are more territorial during these periods.

The state advises residents to be mindful of children and pets while outdoors and not to let pets run free. If you see a coyote, stand tall and hold your arms up or out to look as large as possible. If a coyote lingers, make loud noises, wave your arms and throw sticks and stones.

Report coyotes exhibiting bold behaviors (approaching people for food, attacking leashed pets with owners, chasing joggers or bikers) or repeatedly seen during the day in populated areas or near residences by calling 845-256-3098. Seeing a coyote occasionally is not evidence of bold behavior.

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