Message from the Mayor: Important update on coyote attacks in Village

Peter Swiderski
Last night, between 6:30 and 8:00PM, three people were attacked and bitten by a coyote and a small dog was killed. Two of these victims were in Hastings, and one in Clarewood Village off Jackson Avenue. The three victims were treated at hospital and released. The coyote (or coyotes) have not yet been located and destroyed but there have been a number of developments today we want to relate.
  • The Hastings school system urged parents to drive their children to school in the morning and instituted an emergency dismissal protocol in the afternoon that required student pick-up.
  • Four more coyote attacks occurred today: one in Greenburgh and three more in Yonkers. We believe these were related to the attacks last night.  Yonkers and County police have been tracking what appear to be two coyotes and as of last notice, had them cornered in Dunwoodie Park. There have been no further attacks in Hastings.
  • We mobilized Village police, and worked with Greenburgh SWAT and Greenburgh Animal Control to sweep a number of Hastings parks using a combination of manual patrols and drone flights to confirm that there were no dens or coyote populations. Police provided coverage at school open and close.
  • We do not yet know if either the animal destroyed yesterday or the coyote(s) now under pursuit are rabid. Tests have not yet returned for the destroyed animal.  The attacking animal’s behavior yesterday and today is indicative of disease and we are operating under that assumption.
What We Are Continuing to Do
  • We have continued to communicate with the local schools and nursery schools. The Hastings School system has asked that the children be driven to school tomorrow (as was requested for today) and that parents assume that the emergency dismissal process in place today will be in force tomorrow as well. If there is a material change in circumstances, the Village will communicate with the School and they may at that time move to normal dismissal. The school also asks that if your emergency contact information at the school is not up to date, this is the time tomorrow morning to make sure you do so.  Recess will be inside.   The school will be issuing a detailed email later tonight.
  • We will have extra police officers out and we have volunteers from the Hastings Fire Department patrolling the streets now searching for the animal(s) and also warning people about the risk. The police are under instruction to destroy the animal(s) if a safe shot can be taken.
  • We have closed Hillside Woods, Draper, Quarry and Uniontown Parks immediately for the duration of this emergency, and have posted signs that there is no access.  We have also posted warning signs on the Aqueduct.
  • We are securing the services of a professional trapper to work in Hillside Woods to destroy coyotes found there.
  • Throughout this event, we have liaised with the DEC, Town of Greenburgh, neighboring police departments and wildlife experts to apprise them of our response as well as to confirm that our emergency protocols are best practice for this event.
What You Should Do
  • Please call the Police Department (914-478-2344) IMMEDIATELY if you see a coyote. Needless to say, actively move away from the animal. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE POLICE DEPARTMENT WITH PREVIOUS SIGHTINGS OR QUESTIONS.
  • If you are outside, be aware of your surroundings.  If you must walk your dog, please keep it on a leash and do not go into any of the parks. Do not let your cat outside. If you feed your dog outside, please bring the food inside.
  • We do not recommend jogging on the Aqueduct or other trailways.
  • If you see any other animals behaving erratically or atypically (e.g. a racoon in broad daylight), please notify the police IMMEDIATELY
Thank you for your attention.
Peter Swiderski