Coyotes in Bergen County
 
Coyotes in Bergen County: What You Should Know
 

There have been multiple coyote attacks in the Bergen County area in recent years. It seems everyone in the area has seen a coyote or knows someone who has. Coyotes have become firmly established in the Bergen County-North Jersey area through their adaptable nature. Coyotes adjust well to their surroundings and can survive on whatever food is available. Coyotes typically feed on rodents and rabbits but will take advantage of whatever is available, including garbage, pet food and even domestic animals.

What Do Coyotes Look Like?

The coyote resembles a small German shepherd with the exception of a long snout and bushy, black-tipped tail. 

Coyotes are generally nocturnal. Observing a coyote by day does not mean that the coyote is sick or aggressive. If the coyote is scared away by your presence, it is exhibiting natural behavior and this should not be cause for concern. A coyote who does not run away when encountering humans has most likely become accustomed or habituated to people. This generally occurs when a coyote has been fed (in the form of handouts, pet food left outside, or unsecured garbage). This type of behavior could also be a symptom of rabies.

When Coyotes Attack

Coyotes will occasionally attack small pets. Attacks on humans are rare but do occur as we've recently experienced here in Bergen County. Conflicts between coyotes and humans are most likely to develop as adults forage for food for their pups in the spring and summer. A coyote who has bitten a person will have to be specifically targeted and removed from the population. Most health departments will mandate testing for rabies, which requires that the offending coyote be killed.

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