Spring is the season of love. And in the animal kingdom those pangs of passion can turn into pangs of protection quickly. It's why the NY Department of Environmental Conservation is warning Utica Rome residents to be coyote conscious.

Reports of human and pet confrontations with coyotes have been going on for the last few weeks. Officials say those meetings will become more frequent in the coming weeks as breeding season continues in March and pups are born in April and May.

As the animals establish their dens and the babies are born, Coyotes will begin expanding their range in search of food with more mouths to feed. With many of their homes in suburban areas, the potential for human and pet interaction will increase. And as new parents they will be even more territorial.

The DEC offers these tips on minimizing the chance of a coyote encounter:

  • Don't feed pets outside
    Make garbage inaccessible
    Fence or enclose compost piles
    Eliminate the availability of bird seed
    Don't allow pets to run free
    Remove brush and tall grass to reduce protective cover
Liebelt, Emily (DEC)

If you encounter a coyote showing little fear of humans the DEC suggests contacting the local Wildlife Office or in times of emergency the local police. And if it's a face to face encounter, be aggressive in behavior, stand tall, and hold arms out to look large. If it doesn't run off, make loud noises, wave your arms, and throw sticks and stones.. There are more tips on coyote encounters and how-to avoid them on the DEC's website.

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