LONG ISLAND - At first glance it may look like a dog but don’t be fooled - it’s Long Island’s newest addition - the coyote.
Unlike a dog, their tail hangs straight down and typically has a black tip and according to experts, their arrival was inevitable as Long Island is actually the last large landmass the coyotes haven’t colonized in the lower 48 states.
Frank Vincenti founder of the Wild Dog Foundation says there are at least six in Queens and western Nassau County including a mating pair as well as some single coyotes on the North and South Forks.
“As far as Nassau and Suffolk it’s fairly recent - within the last 2-3 years,” Vincenti said. “With all the bad stories about wildlife out there and how they’re not doing well, this is something that can be celebratory.”
Wildlife biologists who have been tracking their whereabouts hope Long Islanders will embrace the creatures. They are fearful of people and it’s important to keep pets indoors and set clear boundaries.
“Don’t get them too habituated to humans and don’t feed the coyotes,” said wildlife biologist Mike Bottini with the Seatuck Environmental Association.
Ingredients for a successful future coexisting with coyotes.
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