Coyotes have been moving into the north shore area from both east and west. There have been documented sightings in recent years at LaGuardia airport and Woodside in Queens - and last year a coyote was captured on a security camera outside a home in Roslyn. From the east, there have been sightings in the past two years at Holbrook and Kings Park. It was only a matter of time before coyotes appeared in Oyster Bay and Huntington - and it seems that time is now:
Last week, a Lloyd Harbor resident, Urte Franitza Goldstein, of Lloyd Point Road near Caumsett Park, reported that "I am almost certain that we just saw our second coyote near my house on Lloyd Neck. It was definitely NOT a fox, and looked more like a wolf. Since this is the second time, and there are not wolves in the area - at least I hope not - I am assuming coyote."
Another Lloyd Neck resident who rides his bicycle through Caumsett - sometimes after dark on moon-lit nights - said that "there are some kind of feral dogs or coyotes loose in Caumsett" because he has seen them and heard their cries in the night.
The spread of the coyote population is tied to the decline of hunting in the area, and the expolsion in the population of coyotes' food animals - squirrels, raccoons, and deer. Over the past 20 years, the deer population has spread across the north shore into Huntington - which now has thousands of deer - to Oyster Bay and Locust Valley - which had not had a local deer population for over 100 years.
Coyote attacks on humans are rare, but do occur, with children, the elderly, and family pets particularly at risk. Three weeks ago, a 53-year old woman and a family dog were attacked in two separate attacks by coyotes in Ramapo Valley Park in New Jersey. State authorities closed the park to protect the public. Coyotes have also attacked humans in Reading, Massachusetts; Mahwah, New Jersey; and a woman and her four-tear-old son were attacked in Fairfield, New Jersey.
This past May, in a Westchester, New York park, a rabid coyote attacked and ripped-open the forearm of a 5-year-old girl, right in front of her mother and 3-year-old sister. An off-duty police officer who was present lunged at the animal, and was able to pin it down until back-up arrived and killed the coyote.
Family pets are particularly at risk, with hundreds of attacks in America reported over just the past two months, by coyotes on pet dogs and cats. Every major metropolitan area with a coyote population reports numerous coyote attacks on family pets. Often pet attacks turn into human attacks, as owners try to shield or protect their pets.