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WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — Warwick officials and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) are warning residents about recent coyote sightings.
The city’s police department said it’s received a number of calls about the coyotes, which are all black in color.
The DEM assured residents that the animals’ behavior is nothing to be concerned about, since they’re not strictly nocturnal and could be spotted during the day.
“Coyotes are very important on the landscape,” said Morgan Lucot, a furbearer biologist with the DEM. “They help control populations of other animals, which is really good for the environment. We need coyotes.”
Lucot said that while there’s no cause for alarm, it’s important to stay alert.
“When you’re sitting on your porch and you see a coyote come looking around, that’s a great opportunity to starting shouting, yelling things, making yourself big, making yourself known,” Lucot explained. “They might not turn and spring right away from you, but the key is to make them uncomfortable when they are up close to your personal space and property.”
If you happen to come across a coyote, the DEM said to follow these tips:
- Stay at least 150 feet away
- Keep dogs on leashes and cats inside to minimize the risk of an attack
- Do not feed coyotes; keeping them wild is key for safety
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