2007-09-27 / Front Page

Coyotes sighted in South Brunswick

Official confirms at least three reports throughout township

South Brunswick residents and officials have reported three separate coyote sightings, with the most recent one taking place Monday afternoon.

FILE PHOTO Coyotes attacked two children and many pets in Middletown this summer. FILE PHOTO Coyotes attacked two children and many pets in Middletown this summer. Arthur Roedell, owner of Monmouth Mobile Home Park off Route 1, said that a coyote had been spotted coming right up to one resident's fence yesterday afternoon. The resident informed Roedell, who in turn informed animal control and was told that there had been several other sightings around town over the past few days.

South Brunswick Public Affairs Coordinator Ron Schmalz said that coyotes have also been sighted around Route 27 near the High Gate apartments, as well as around Friendship Road.

Roedell said that he was "pretty nervous" after receiving word of the sighting, recalling previous incidents in other areas where pets and small children had been attacked.

"We're kind of in a quandary because this stuff is unfamiliar to people in suburban areas. … If you have animals coming into living areas with no fear of humans, it's kind of a problem," said Roedell.

Roedell distributed a pamphlet for his residents alerting them to the coyote sightings and, using information gleaned from the Internet, advises them what to do.

There are a number of precautions residents can take to reduce the risk of coyote-related incidents. Among them:

• Residents should never feed coyotes, and should minimize potential food sources on their properties. Feeding other wild animals might also attract them, as they might want to feed on the food left out as well as the animals that eat it. Residents should put their garbage in closed containers that won't spill if tipped over. Water sources should be removed. Pets should be brought in at night. Bird feeders should be taken in at night. Livestock should be secured.

• Motion-sensitive lighting can be installed. Brush and dense weeds, which provide cover for coyotes, should be cleared.

• If a coyote is present, it is recommended that one make loud noises, throw rocks, spray them with a garden hose or blast an air horn.

Earlier this summer, coyote sightings became a common occurrence around the Naval Weapons Station Earle area in Middletown, where two children and several pets were attacked. Township police and officials from the state Department of Environmental Protection Division of Fish & Wildlife took a number of measures to trap and exterminate the coyotes, but the animals often proved elusive. While not native to New Jersey, the animals have acclimated themselves to the area over the years.

Residents who would like to report a coyote sighting should call the South Brunswick Health Department at (732) 329-4000, ext. 7237.

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