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Coyotes suspected to be living less than a mile from Mott Road Elementary School

— It isn’t uncommon for Frank Pitcher to see wildlife in his backyard – owls, hawks, deer and woodchucks are among the typical visitors to his property.

But about a month ago, Pitcher noticed something a bit out of the ordinary.

“The coyote came from the backyard when I was outside by the side of the house,” said Pitcher, who lives about a quarter-mile from Mott Road Elementary School. “She came around the other side, stopped, looked at me, then I looked at her and she went on her way.”

A few of the neighbors who live around the Kimry Moor neighborhood have also seen the coyote, and one contacted the Fayetteville-Manlius School District last week. On Friday, June 13, the district called every home with children who attend Mott Road Elementary to inform parents of the situation.

“We felt an obligation to inform our parents of Mott Road Elementary that it was reported to us that there was a sighting in the area and to be vigilant” said F-M Assistant Superintendent Mike Vespi. “We don’t think at this time that anyone is in danger, but obviously, it’s nature and you never know. We just wanted to take the necessary precautions.”

Both Vespi and Pitcher called the town of Manlius and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation immediately. DEC Fish and Wildlife Technician Tiffany Toukatly said the mother coyote’s behavior is normal and should not cause any alarm at this time.

“Because we know that the coyote has pups, it’s normal to see her out during the day because she’s out feeding them,” said Toukatly. “But it wouldn’t be normal if she was coming up and approaching people.”

Toukatly said it’s likely that the coyotes are living in a wooded area near or within the Kimry Moor neighborhood behind Mott Road. Pitcher said he suspects the coyote does most of her hunting near a pond across the street from his property and then returns to the wooded area behind his house with food for her pups.

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