A recent article highlighted the danger of coyotes around Saddle River. After a woman was surrounded by a pack of coyotes ready to attack, Mayor Al Kurpis issued a statement that the coyote overpopulation could be a serious problem for people in the area. The woman who was nearly attacked was fine after a passing vehicle scared off the animals; but this incident has left many people wondering…who is responsible for these coyotes?
More Food, More Coyotes
Urbanization and leftover food seem to be the cause of the coyote increase in North Jersey. While coyotes were once known for being timid around humans, now that they are in the city, they’ve become used to people. They travel around, eating garbage that’s been left out, and also eating the birds and squirrels that visit bird feeders. These food sources, along with roadkill (including the large deer population), are all very attractive to coyotes.
What the Government Is Doing About It
The police have been given authority to use force when they encounter a coyote, especially if the animal is showing signs of aggression. In addition to the police, a task force made up of the borough administrator, council members, animal control, the fire department, and Office of Emergency Management is focusing on bringing the coyote population under control.
But the authorities still need the public’s help. For this reason, they have asked everyone who sees a coyote to report where they saw it to their local police.
If You Come Across a Coyote
If you do spot a coyote, you should never approach the wild animal.
- Be as cautious as possible.
- Carrying a stick, air horn, or whistle may be enough to scare it away.
- Small children and pets should be picked up and carried. Coyotes, especially those that are aggressive and hungry, can snatch a pet or small child and run off.
If the animal does approach and ends up biting you or a child, New Jersey law requires you to report the incident to a local health department within 12 hours. While reports of this nature typically deal with domestic animals such as dogs, citizens are still required to report wildlife attacks as well. The reason? So that the authorities can find the animal and test it for rabies. In other words, report the bite right away!
If you have been bitten by an animal and are wondering what steps you should take after reporting it, contact the personal injury attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. at (609) 240-0040. We know the laws in New Jersey regarding animal bites and are happy to talk them over with you. We’ll also be able to determine if you have a valid claim for compensation.