South Windsor Police Briefs
By Joan Hunt - ReminderNews Managing Editor
South Windsor - posted Fri., Dec. 6, 2013
This is an excerpt from the message issued by South Windsor Police animal Control Officer Robin Bond in relation to sightings of coyotes in town:
There have not been any attacks or any reason to believe the animals are aggressive, they have lived among us in town for decades. It is prudent however to keep watch over smaller pets when they are left outdoors.
Coyotes resemble a German shepherd, but they are taller and thinner. The ears are set wide and are very pointed. The muzzle is longer and more slender. The tail is bushy and straight and usually carried low. The colors range from cream to chestnut and many have black tipped hairs along the back. Male coyotes can get to about 40 pounds, with females generally smaller. Our coyotes in South Windsor tend to be pretty tall and people have mistaken them for wolves. As far as I have been told there are no documented wolves in Connecticut. Coyotes can attain speeds of 25-30 mph and can sprint up to 40 mph.
Coyotes do not mate for life, but pairs may stay together. Often people believe that “packs” of coyotes exist, but a pack is really a family unit with a male, a female, and up to as many as 12 pups. Breeding season is from January to March and the gestation is about 63 days. We can expect to begin seeing litters in April to mid May. The average litter in Connecticut is about seven, but I have never seen more than 3 or 4 to a litter in South Windsor. The family unit usually stays together until fall when the pups are dispersed. Sometimes the pups stay together through the first winter.
Coyotes are part of our ecosystem, right along with bobcats and fishers. While coyotes may take an occasional small pet, they would rather stick to easier prey. Coyotes are not above eating veggies and they will scavenge road kill if necessary. Bobcats and fishers will also take small pets, and the coyote is often blamed.
Vocalizations such as yips, yelps, howls, and wails can be heard at all hours of the day. Two coyotes howling in unison can sound like ten or more! Most active at night and most often heard around dusk and dawn, coyotes can be seen any time of day. I have seen them trotting through Nevers Road Park at 2:00 in the afternoon. For several weeks we even had one that we could set a watch by. The coyote would trot across the soccer fields at the park, over the sledding hill on the Collins property, across Sand Hill Road and Sullivan Avenue, and right over to the Priest property- all between 9 and 9:15 in the morning.
Coyotes adapt easily to our human activities and will often stop to watch us to see what we are going to do, before they decide what they are going to do. They have been known to approach people walking dogs, but it is most often a territorial issue as they protect their space. Human attacks are fortunately, rare. (We have not had any human contacts in South Windsor).
To discourage all wild animals from your property you should eliminate food sources. Secure your trash, don’t put food scraps on a compost pile, take away bird feeders and clean your grill. They can be harassed with loud noises such as shouting and banging pots. A wind chime in the back yard will even work, but it has to be moved periodically to prevent the coyote from getting accustomed to its sound. Fencing one’s property is always an option.
Coyotes are to be respected, but they should NOT be feared. We need them to help keep other animals that constitute their prey in check. We can not relocate all of the coyotes in South Windsor as I was recently asked to do. To kill them just because they exist as another resident suggested is not a viable option either. 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.
We are available to answer questions at 860-644-2551.
Public Information Officer Lt. Scott Custer added that small pets are potentially viewed as prey to these wild animals and residents should pay attention in areas where coyotes are sighted, particularly around open fields and power line trails.
‘Stuff a Truck’ food and toy drive
On Saturday, Dec. 14, the South Windsor Police Department will join members of the South Windsor Fire Department and South Windsor Ambulance Corps at Stop & Shop (1739 Ellington Road) and Geissler’s Supermarket (965 Sullivan Ave.) for this year’s “Stuff a Truck” event.
Emergency services personnel will be at the store receiving toys and food donations from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. All donations will benefit local families in need. Please come out and help those who need assistance during this holiday season.
Additional information is available from Sgt. Tom Field, Community Outreach Officer, at 860-648-6224 or via e-mail at Thomas.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overnight parking ban
Residents are reminded that no vehicles shall be parked on the public streets of the town overnight for the period from Nov. 15 to April 15. Any vehicle parked continuously between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. during this period shall be deemed to have been parked overnight, and the owner may be subject to a fine.
Snow/Ice Storms: No vehicle shall be parked on the public streets of the town during a snow or ice storm that has been in progress one hour and continuing for a period of 24 hours after the storm has ended. Residents’ cooperation in keeping the roads free of parked vehicles allows the Public Works crews to clear and sand roadways in a timely and efficient manner, making travel safer for everyone.