South Windsor residents are being urged to keep an eye on pets when they are outside because of an increase in coyote sightings in town.
There have been no reports of attacks, police said, and there is no reason to believe the coyotes are aggressive.
How to determine whether what you’re seeing is a coyote:
They resemble a German shepherd, but are taller and thinner.
The ears are set wide and are pointed.
The muzzle is longer and more slender.
The tail is bushy and straight and usually carried low.
The colors range from cream-colored to chestnut and many have black tipped hairs along the back.
Coyotes in South Windsor tend to be pretty tall and people have mistaken them for wolves.
Coyotes can attain speeds of 25 to 30 miles per hour and can sprint up to 40 miles per hour.
The breeding season is from January to March and the gestation is about 63 days, so expect to begin seeing litters in April to mid-May.
Coyotes make yips, yelps, howls and wails, which can be heard at all hours of the day.
They are most active at night and most often heard around dusk and dawn.
Over the last several weeks, some coyotes have been seen in Nevers Road Park at 2 p.m.
In the morning, they have crossed the soccer fields at the park, gone over the sledding hill on the Collins property, across Sand Hill Road and Sullivan Avenue, and right over to the Priest property.
No coyotes have had contact with humans in South Windsor.
Some have been known to approach people walking dogs, but it is most often a territorial issue as they protect their space.
To discourage wild animals from your property, eliminate food sources, secure your trash, avoid putting food scraps on a compost pile, take away bird feeders and clean your grill.
Loud noises, such as shouting and banging pots, can deter them.
A wind chime in the back yard will work, but you must move it periodically to prevent the coyote from getting accustomed to its sound.
South Windsor Police Animal Control Officer Robin Bond said they cannot relocate all of the coyotes in South Windsor or kill them just because they exist.
“When I catch a glimpse of a coyote I consider it a privilege and I take a moment to appreciate the beauty of one of our area’s most majestic creatures,” Bond said.
If you have questions, call (860)644-2551.
Additional Information is available on the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection website at http://www.ct.gov/dep/cwp/view.asp?a=2723&q=325992&depNav_GID=1655