A new predator is in town.
What looked to be a coyote was spotted last week, early on the morning of June 24, by a farmer in Water Mill. The farmer noticed the animal in one of his potato fields and took a photo on his cellphone. The picture was passed on to the State Department of Environmental Conservation in Stony Brook, where the animal was confirmed to be the first known coyote in Suffolk County.
“Specialists will be going out to look for scat, tracks, and other clues to find out more and see where it might now be,” said Aphrodite Montalvo, a citizen participation specialist for the regional D.E.C.
Now that there are coyotes here, researchers are trying to figure out where they came from. “We cannot say for certain how they got here yet,” said Ms. Montalvo. “There have been sightings in Queens, so they could have followed train tracks to come east. Someone could have even had them as a pet. But young male juveniles can travel 400 miles from where they were born.”
Coyotes eat almost anything, including rabbits, snakes, and even small deer, so their arrival could affect the rising deer population. They can go after small pets, too — bad news for outdoor cats, dogs, and their owners.