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Coyote Experts To Speak In New Canaan

New Canaan is offering a free seminar on coyotes and their behavior in April. The Fairfield County town is being proactive after a local resident and pet pooch had a scary run-in with one of the wolf-like critters.
New Canaan is offering a free seminar on coyotes and their behavior in April. The Fairfield County town is being proactive after a local resident and pet pooch had a scary run-in with one of the wolf-like critters. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Tim Tully.

NEW CANAAN, CONN. – New Canaan folks who are curious about coyotes are about to get schooled by experts in the wild dog’s M.O.

An informational meet-up for residents was organized by animal control officer Allyson Halm after a local dog owner and canine pal had a close encounter with a coyote last month.

The free seminar is set for 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 8, at the New Canaan Library Art Gallery, 151 Main St.

According to police, the resident and pooch were walking on Autumn Lane early Tuesday, Feb. 31, when they ran into the wolf-like canid.

The human was able to scare the coyote away using “hazing” techniques. No one was injured in the incident.

Halm has put together “hazing” kits that contain an air horn, a can filled with coins, whistles, and bells.

Coyotes, usually reclusive critters, have lost their fear of humans because of the urban and suburban encroachment on their territories, and because of the abundance of food.

However brazen they may appear, says the Humane Society of the United States, coyotes can still be safely scared away.

Methods of hazing include standing tall with your hands above your head, yelling, making noise, and, even, spraying the animals with a garden hose, the Humane Society said.

For more hazing methods, click here.

Set to speak at the seminar are Dr. Jon Way, the author of “Suburban Howls” and founder of Eastern Coyote Research, and Bill Annette, an animal rights proponent and co-founder of Animal Rights Front, a small, all-volunteer group based in Seymour, Conn.

Way is an authority on the Eastern coyote – or coywolf as he prefers to classify the species.

One of the foremost coyote biologists in New England, he will share photos and information on topics ranging from the natural history of coyotes to their hybridization with wolves.

Annette’s group has focused on what it calls the state-sanctioned destruction of wild animals carried out by institutionalized hunting and trapping.

He was instrumental in ending the use of leg-hold devices to trap beavers in Stratford.

Birds of prey or family pets can be ensnared in these lethal traps, Halm said.

“We need to learn how to co-exist with coyotes. They are not going away,” she added.

According to a report by newcanaannewsonline.com , the Merritt Parkway, with its greenway and food provided by trash tossers, seems to be where coyotes are congregating.

Halm warned that coyotes get especially testy during mating season in the spring, newcanaannewsonline.com reported.

There have been reports of pets being attacked in Westport, Weston, Darien, and Stamford Halm told newcanaannewsonline.com.

The seminar is being sponsored by talk is sponsored by Cathy Kangas, CEO and founder of PRAI Beauty, a skincare business based in New Canaan.

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