Trumbull warns residents after rise in coyote reports

Photo of Amanda Cuda
There have been multiple recent sightings of coyotes throughout Trumbull.

There have been multiple recent sightings of coyotes throughout Trumbull.

Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

TRUMBULL — Coyotes have been spotted throughout Trumbull in recent weeks, and the town animal control officer is urging residents to take necessary precautions — including leashing their dogs.

“It seems like we’ve been getting a lot of coyote calls,” said Lynn DellaBianca, Trumbull’s animal control officer. “They have their young in the area and are establishing territory.”

Though DellaBianca hasn’t yet heard reports of the animals attacking people, she’s heard a few reports of coyotes attacking dogs — including a recent report of someone walking a dog off-leash in Indian Ledge Park. DellaBianca said the dog’s owner reported that the animal ran off and came back with reported coyote bites. Dogs are supposed to be leashed in all town parks.

But it’s not just in parks that these incidents are occurring. DellaBianca said her office responded to a report from a resident in the Canoe Brook Lake area who said they were in the yard with their dog, and a coyote snatched the animal. Thankfully, DellaBianca said, the coyote dropped the dog and the dog is fine.

DellaBianca said she’s not sure why these incidents are happening, they seem to be occurring all over town, and she asks residents to be on the lookout for coyotes.

According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, a typical coyote resembles a small, lanky German shepherd, but is usually more slender and has wide, pointed ears. Other characteristics that distinguish coyotes from dogs include a long, tapered muzzle, yellow eyes, small feet; and a straight, bushy tail carried low to the ground.

Most adult coyotes are about 48 to 60 inches long from nose to tail and weigh between 30 and 50 pounds.

DellaBianca said residents need to leash their dogs when they’re out with the pets, and to shoo away any coyotes that turn up near their homes by “hazing” them. Hazing often involves making a loud noise — such as banging pots and pans or blowing an air horn — to frighten the coyote away.

“These animals are here,” DellaBianca said. “We can’t go around killing them or trapping them. What we need to do is let coyotes know not to get used to our human activities. Be afraid of us.”