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'Living With Coyotes' Presentation Planned Following Westchester Sightings

This coyote was spotted in the middle of the day on Monday, July 31 in Montrose.
This coyote was spotted in the middle of the day on Monday, July 31 in Montrose. Photo Credit: Paul Sinacore
This coyote was spotted in the middle of the day on Monday, July 31 in Montrose.
This coyote was spotted in the middle of the day on Monday, July 31 in Montrose. Photo Credit: Paul Sinacore
Coyotes are a common sight in the Hudson Valley.
Coyotes are a common sight in the Hudson Valley. Photo Credit: coyotesmarts.org

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Following a string of recent coyote sightings in Westchester County, a local animal rights organization is hosting a presentation to “educate the public and dispel myths and fears about wildlife.”

The Animal Defenders of Westchester (ADOW) have scheduled a presentation in Yonkers with noted coyote advocate Frank Vicente of the Wild Dog Foundation, in an effort to educate the public about living in peace with wildlife.

This summer, coyotes have been spotted in Yonkers, Cortlandt , Rye , Greenburgh and Peekskill , reportedly raising concerns of residents in Westchester.

According to the ADOW, Vincente’s recent work at LaGuardia Airport saved remaining coyotes whose family had already been killed by the Department of Environmental Conservation.

The “Living with Coyotes and Wildlife” presentation will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 31 at the Grinton Will Library on Central Avenue in Yonkers.

"Coyotes are a natural part of a healthy ecosystem,” ADOW founder Kiley Blackman said. “We are so used to, so habituated to truly serious dangers we create ourselves and face each and every day; seeing wildlife is out of the norm – and, sadly, we panic, feel we have the right to order their slaughter because they can’t defend themselves.

“But it ain’t Godzilla, folks, it's animals who love their families just like we do, who are more afraid of us than we are of them. You are far more likely to be bitten by a dog, and overwhelmingly more likely to be injured or killed in your car.”

Blackman said that she would like to see Westchester adapt a program similar to Manhattan’s “WildlifeNYC,” which is an education and awareness campaign about living compassionately with “urban fauna.”

"We would be wise to adapt something similar,” she added. “Westchester used to be all forest – as the human population explodes everywhere, common decency, right and wrong, cannot be thrown out the window just because animals can’t say no.”

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