Coyote On Fairway?


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MyVeronaNJ-CoyoteA Verona woman saw what she believes was a coyote on Fairway Avenue on Saturday night, not far from the woods at the top of the street that extend into  West Orange.  Morningside Road resident Allison McNally was walking home from a party about 11:30 p.m.  and saw an animal  “creeping” along the street.  “It was too big to be a fox; it looked more like a dog, sort of like a Husky,”  she says. The animal had no collar and there were no other people around.  “It had a bushy tail, but the tail was down,” she says.

Her description matches that of  the Eastern coyote, which according to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife can be found in all 21 counties of New Jersey, and has a growing population. The agency points out that, although coyote sightings are fairly common, the animals do not cause a great deal of physical damage and attacks on humans are extremely rare. Coyotes subsist largely on rabbits, voles and mice. However, as their habitat shrinks, the agency predicts that they may be sighted more frequently in residential areas. It suggests keeping garbage cans that contain food tightly covered, clearing wood piles and debris that may attract mice, not feeding pets or birds outside, and keeping free-ranging cats closer to home.

The Verona police have received recent reports of fox sightings in the vicinity of Verona Park, but not coyotes.

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Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan
Julia Martin Langan moved to Verona in 1989. A long-time journalist, she has been on the staff of Money, Sports Illustrated, Bride’s and Redbook magazines. Her articles on health and parenting appear in a variety of national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Parents, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s Bazaar, Self and Family Circle. She and her husband Greg have three school-aged children, and are members of Our Lady of the Lake Church. You can reach Julia at [email protected]


  1. The fact that people are actually SEEING coyotes is special, indeed, as they are generally elusive creatures. Coyotes inhabit every county in New Jersey and have for a very long time. Coyotes live in family groups with an Alpha male and female and their extended family who help to raise pups. This time of year people may be seeing less dominate pairs as they seek their own territory in order to raise a family as they generally breed in February. More coyotes may also been seen as development pressures decrease natural habitat and put wildlife in closer proximity to humans. Highly adaptable and weary of humans they are sometimes spotted protecting their den if a family dog gets too close. They are generally harmless to humans and pets and feed on small rodents but will occasionally feed on dead animal remains or take down an injured or elderly deer. For these reasons they are important to the food chain as they help keep populations in check. If you see a coyote keep your distance and slowly remove yourself from the vicinity. Always keep your dogs on a leash and never try to feed or care for pups.


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