I've heard bone-chilling howls at night outside of my place in Waterbury, no, it wasn't my neighbor moaning that Domenick's & Vinnie's still hasn't opened on Monday, it was a couple of coyotes.

I was as shocked as anyone when twice, earlier this year, coyotes attacked dogs in Southbury. It's not just Southbury, reports of attacks have happened recently in Groton, East Hartford, Branford, Glastonbury, and New Canaan.

When did Connecticut become such a hotbed of wild coyote action? Eastern coyotes were first documented in Connecticut in the 1950's, according to ct.gov. In the 70 years since, coyotes have become common throughout the state. Coyotes are extremely at adapting to urban environments, and thriving.

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Coyotes are opportunistic when it comes to what they eat, they'll chow down on squirrels, mice, rabbits, deer, turkeys, some fruits, dead animals, and they love garbage. They will also prey on livestock, and household pets, dogs were attacked in the Southbury incidents earlier this year.

What can you do to protect yourself, and your pets against a coyote attack? Do not allow your pets to roam free, never feed coyotes, don't make loud noises, or attempt to scare them, they're very territorial, instead, without turning your back to them, slowly back away.

Southbury Animal Control, and their partner the Southbury Library, have teamed up to try to educate the public about coyotes, and they're presenting an informational seminar that they've dubbed 'Coexisting with Coyotes'. The informational seminar is happening in person, and also via Zoom on Thursday, October 21, 2021, from 2 to 3:30PM.

Dana Goin, a Wildlife Outreach Specialist from Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY will educate us about coyote history and ecology, and the best practices that we can use to coexist with them. The seminar is free, and open to the public. Click HERE to register for the Zoom seminar, or, click HERE to register for the in-person event, which will be held in the Kingsley Room at the Southbury Library, which is at 100 Poverty Road.

If you do spot a coyote behaving abnormally, or exhibiting bold/aggressive behavior, contact your local animal control division, or the CT DEEP Wildlife Division at 860-424-3011.

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