Officials are putting up signs in three public parks to advise those who visit them that coyotes are active in the area.
Planned for Waveny, Irwin and Bristow—a bird sanctuary attached to Mead Park—the signs include tips on what to do if approached by a coyote and how to protect pets.
Officer Allyson Halm, head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section, said the signs are designed to continue educating locals on how to coexist safely and responsibly with coyotes.
“It’s just like the police doing a distracted driver campaign—it’s a forever thing and the conversation just has to keep going,” Halm said.
Though coyotes have been denning in recent weeks as pups are born, locals have reported 15 sightings in New Canaan to Animal Control in the past month, Halm said. Coyote-dog fights have been reported recently on Ponus Ridge, Autumn Lane and Beacon Hill Lane.
Halm and a panel of experts are holding a forum on coyotes at New Canaan Library’s Art Gallery on the main floor, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday.
The new signs include tips such as waving arms, making noise and throwing objects when approached by a coyote. Pets should be kept on short leashes and extra caution should be taken from dusk to dawn, according to the signs.
Recreation Director Steve Benko said the signs are designed to be more informative than just declaring ‘Danger’ to passersby.
“It’s information for people in case they encounter coyotes, what to do,” Benko said.
Halm in February made “coyote hazing kits” available to residents who encounter the animals near their homes, and the kits—underwritten by New Canaan resident and animal welfare advocate Cathy Kangas and her company, PRAI Beauty—went very quickly.