Rye PD Commish Connors issued the following release around 9pm Friday night to correct what may be a misunderstanding in a recent news account around the Rye coyote attacks, according to the statement. The Commish says various statements by Rye's Grizzly Adams (AKA the trapper Jim Horton) may have been confused and misunderstood:
July 16, 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CLARIFICATION REGARDING COYOTE BEHAVIOR
Contact: Police Commissioner William R. Connors (914) 967-1234
A news account may have given residents the impression that recent coyote attacks may be retaliatory acts by a male coyote who was the father of eight pups who were trapped and relocated with their mother. That is not the case.
Questions have been raised previously as to whether the recent attacks by coyotes may have been retaliation for our previous trapping efforts. Wildlife specialists consulted by the City of Rye have assured us that, although it is impossible to predict the behavior of wild animals with absolute certainty, coyotes are not vindictive animals by nature, and it is highly unlikely that the recent attacks are anything but aberrant behavior by one or more animals.
The Nuisance Wildlife Removal specialist retained by the City, Jim Horton of QualityPro Pest and Wildlife Services, agrees. Mr. Horton has been quoted on three separate items:
• He observed the male coyote in the area watching him while he removed the female and pups.
• He believes the male coyote became familiar with his scent, and may be avoiding it; he has taken steps to ensure that his scent is not present when traps are set.
• It is impossible to say whether or not this male coyote was involved in the attacks, since it is not possible to identify the animal or animals who were; however, there is no evidence that it is the same coyote.
Unfortunately, when Mr. Horton’s unrelated comments are read together, they can be construed by some as indicating that the attacks are the work of a vengeful coyote. That was neither stated nor implied by Mr. Horton. He does not believe it to be the case, nor do experts on wildlife behavior.
Residents are understandably concerned about the recent coyote attacks in our community, and rumors can spread quickly. We believe it is important to ensure that residents are provided with clear and accurate information to limit the spread of inaccurate information that may cause unnecessary alarm.
As we have stated in the past, coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, and these incidents represent highly abnormal behavior. There is no clear explanation for them. We will continue aggressive hunting and trapping efforts until we believe this problem has been addressed.
Coyote sightings should be reported immediately by calling 911 or the Police Department’s main number, (914) 967-1234.
General information about coyotes is available on the City of Rye’s website, www.ryeny.gov, as well as on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s website, http://www.dec.ny.gov .