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'Aggressive' Coyotes Close Two Weston Parks

The parks were closed Friday following reports from hikers that coyotes were following them as they walked along the trails, according to a report in the Weston Forum.

Hikers, watch your pets... and watch your backs.

Two of the 's nature preserves— the Taylor Woods/Thorp Preserve and the Tall Pines Preserve — are reportedly closed due to the presence of "aggressive" coyotes.

According to a report in the Weston Forum, the parks were closed Friday following reports from hikers that coyotes were following them as they walked along the trails. One Weston resident was reportedly followed by a den of coyotes as she walked with her two dogs.

Weston Animal Control Officer Mark Harper told the Forum that “no attacks have been reported, but increasingly aggressive behavior has been observed.”

The town reportedly contacted the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to get recommendations. In an updated report on the Forum website, DEEP wildlife biologist Jason Hawley said it was a good idea to shut down the preserves for a week or two, until the den "moves on." However he said he didn't think the coyotes posed an "imminent threat."

Coyote sightings are becoming more common in Fairfield County, in addition there is a , as the jackals adapt to suburban environs and become more accustomed to being around people. About three weeks ago that had wandered into a resident's yard.

For more, check out the updated Weston Forum report.

cynthia fox August 30, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Coyotes live in dens, groups are called packs. Most like is this was a mother protecting her young and her territory. Dogs can be perceived as a threat. Good idea to keep pets leashed or out of area until young move on to new territory. This is not really abnormal behavior. Coyotes are now at home here in southwestern CT, and they help to keep the deer population in check.
Jean Marie Wiesen August 30, 2012 at 03:05 PM
I agree w/ you, Cynthia and since I was an eye witness to this (1) coyote on (2) separate occasions, I can say w/ complete accuracy, she has not one iota of aggression in her. I first encountered her w/ my dogs, who were off lead, and I might add that no harm came to them, whatsoever. They also came back to me, immediately when I called to them. I saw her not 25 yards from where I was standing, and she yipped at me, mostly b/c I suspect she was guarding her young. I leashed my pups, while she continued her yipping, and we left and we were not followed; she remained in her location. I returned, w/o my pups, only to point out her location and again we were not followed. Matter of fact, she ran away from us, which is a coyote's nature; to be fearful of humans. I grew up in Southern Cal and this is how they act. And, yes, they do indeed keep the deer population in check being their natural predator. What she's doing is entirely within normal behavior as the DEEP as has said. Which is why they suggested the preserve remain closed until she and her young move along.
Elyse August 31, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Many times unfortunate encounters with coyotes (and other wild animals, even raccoons) can be set off by people walking dogs (especially off-leash). The coyotes were exhibiting normal behavior, and yup, they do keep deer in check.
Justin Reynolds (Editor) August 31, 2012 at 05:48 PM
John Babyak wrote the following on the Weston-Redding-Easton Facebook page: "The coyotes cited are not unusually "aggressive"...they actually exhibit behavior quite simiar to we humans. Most coyotes are shy and inherently wary of humans. Because they are raising young pups, they are temporarily denning in our surrounding Weston open spaces and nature preserves. Quite possibly, the coyotes, who are naturally protective, are just curious or may be motivated to "track" hikers to ensure they pose no real threat to their families. They may also find the tracking of humans entertaining, especially the dog walkers. As we get into autumn and the pups mature, most of these coyotes will move to larger spaces inland to satisfy their expanded territorial needs. If chased or threatened, however, the coyotes could turn more aggressive. Best to respect their wild nature and keep your distance."
Jean Marie Wiesen September 03, 2012 at 04:18 PM
thank you, Justin.

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