Reports of coyotes along bike/hike trail

Not everything you see on Facebook is true.

But a report of a pack of coyotes along the Warren Bike/Hike Trail?

That’s worth looking into.

A Facebook post from Tuesday night indicated that a pack of coyotes had been observed on the southern end of the trail near behind the row of houses adjacent to Big Joes.

Warren County Conservation Officer David Donachy said on Wednesday that he hadn’t heard about the sighting but said that it “wouldn’t surprise me that they hunt along the Conewango Creek.”

Donachy said that he’d “recommend pets be on a leash” but said that “other than that, there’s not much reason to be concerned.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published a story in 2015 in what appears to be a response to be increased coyote sightings in the Pittsburgh area.

That story cited Tom Kline, then a Wildlife Conservation Officer in western Allegheny County.

“There’s a perception given off from the news media, movies and comic books that coyotes are somehow dangerous,” Kline said. “We get people calling in afraid that coyotes would be chasing after them in their yards. They’re getting bad information about these animals.”

The Rhode Island-based website – coyotesmarts.org – gives guidelines on what to do if you find yourself locking eyes with a Coyote.

“Coyotes are naturally timid animals and will usually flee at the sight of a human,” the site explains. “If they linger or approach, it’s time to begin ‘hazing.’ This is a term applied to the following actions that can be taken to scare coyotes and chase them away:

¯ Be as big and loud as possible. Do not run or turn your back.

¯ Wave your arms, clap your hands, and shout in an authoritative voice.

¯ Make noise by banging pots and pans or using an air horn or whistle.

¯ Throw small stones, sticks, tennis balls or anything else you can lay your hands on. Remember the intent is to scare and not to injure.

¯ Spray with a hose, if available, or a squirt gun filled with water and vinegar.

¯ Shake or throw a “coyote shaker”–a soda can filled with pennies or pebbles and sealed with duct tape.”

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